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  • Bolivian President Evo Morales.

    Bolivian President Evo Morales. | Photo: ABI

Published 18 January 2018

Bolivian President Evo Morales thanked the Bolivian people for their support in the maritime demand against Chile.

Bolivian President Evo Morales has said the national and international legal team handling the country's maritime demand against Chile will convene in the Hague next week to refine the details of the oral hearings presented before the International Court of Justice, ICJ.

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The Indigenous head of state of the landlocked country said he was surprised to be informed that the “oral hearings are going to be from March 19 to 28 this year,” stating that his country has “a lot of confidence” in the ICJ.

“I want to tell you in a timely manner that we've had several meetings with our national and international legal team ... to continue collecting new arguments, elements for the oral hearings,” Morales added at a press conference.

He also announced that several ex-foreign ministers will be summoned "to hear their opinions" on the progress made in relation to the maritime demand made before the ICJ, Bolivia TV reported.

Morales thanked the Bolivian people for their support, considering that children and grandchildren of former authorities provided documentation to strengthen their cause in the international court.

"With the unity of the people we arrived where we arrived, with the unity of the people we did what we did before the Hague," Morales concluded.

Former Bolivian president and current ICJ ambassador, Eduardo Rodriguez Veltze, said the final high court decision on the Bolivian maritime demand, which was initiated against Chile in 2013, will be taken between four and six months after the oral trial. The oral trial is scheduled to begin between March 19-28, according to Agencia Boliviana de Informacion.

Bolivia's original borders included access to the Pacific Ocean, but Chile snatched 400 kilometers of coastline and 120,000 square kilometers of territories rich in minerals during a 1879 invasion.

Bolivia's maritime demand has received support from several personalities over the years.

Nobel Peace Prize winners Rigoberta Menchu and Adolfo Perez Esquivel, as well as Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, have all expressed their support for a peaceful solution which would allow Bolivia to recover access to the coast.

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