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Minister of Foreign Affairs after meeting with Silala team: "We are happy that President Morales has recognized that there is a natural flow towards Chile"

Monday, September 10, 2018

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Roberto Ampuero, held a working meeting in London with Chile's defense team before the International Court of Justice in the Silala River case. The team was led by agent Ximena Fuentes and coagents María Teresa Infante and Juan Ignacio Piña. International lawyers Alan Boyle and Sam Wordsworth, as well as a team of national advisors, also participated.

The objective of the meeting was to review in depth the arguments submitted by Bolivia in the countermemorial and the countersuit filed last week before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

At the end of the meeting, Chancellor Ampuero declared: "It has been a very productive and interesting meeting, we have analyzed today in London the arguments presented by Bolivia in its counter-memorial and counter-suit. And I want to say it very clearly: nothing that Bolivia puts forward there affects the solidity, coherence and consistency of the Chilean position with respect to the case of the Silala River".

In this context, the Minister indicated that "we are very happy that President Evo Morales has really recognized that there is a natural flow of water and that this flow runs from Bolivia to Chile".

Along these lines, the Minister of Foreign Affairs explained that "President Evo Morales made some statements regarding the case of the Silala River". This is an allusion to the statements of the Bolivian President on August 31, when he announced the presentation of the counter-memorial and counter-suit.
In those statements, President Morales pointed out that a "considerable flow" from the Silala would artificially flow into Chilean territory. He added that "the international law applicable to the use of these waters is neither uniform nor definitive and distinguishes artificial flows, natural flows for the purposes of their equitable and reasonable use".

Minister Ampuero indicated that, on that occasion, President Morales "installed a supposed difference between what he calls natural and artificial waters". Faced with this, the Minister declared: "I would like to say that all the water in the Silala River basin is water that flows naturally from Bolivia to Chile due to the slope. Both surface water and groundwater, all that water flows naturally into our territory and I insist, due to the existence of this slope that is also known by everyone".

Thus, the Minister added that the declarations of President Morales leave us very happy "because this is fully consistent with the traditional policy of Chile. In the sense that the Silala River is an international water course, it crosses the border between Bolivia and Chile, which originates in Bolivia, works and elaborates a box over thousands of years through Bolivian territory advancing, descending towards Chilean territory and crossing the border naturally towards our country. And this is due to the slope that is there and that makes this process absolutely natural".

After the meeting in London, Foreign Minister Ampuero left for Hanoi, Vietnam, where he will attend a meeting of the World Economic Forum, as part of a tour that will also take him to China and Japan. "As Chancellor of Chile, I am going to deepen, intensify and strengthen ties with these Asian countries, demonstrating that Chile is present in various fields. In that sense, this Chancellor is working, as the President of the Republic, Sebastián Piñera, guides him, and as the Chileans hope," he concluded.