Bolivia Still Claims The Pacific

Bolivian President Hugo Banzer refrained from comment on whether he would pursue the issue of his country's access to the Pacific Ocean in the upcoming Summit of the Americas.

After assuming his constitutional post last August, Banzer said that it would be his top priority in his international political agenda to expose in every international meeting Bolivian claim to the ocean.

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Chancellor Javier Murillo de la Rocha manifested that the presidential agenda was not set yet, but next Thursday he and President Banzer will be analyzing and prioritizing the items to be considered during the summit.

Bolivia lost the access to the Pacific coast in a territorial war with Chile in 1879, since then, Bolivia has established in every international forum its claim to the ocean, being that the lack of it truncates their economic progress.

Bolivia and Chile broke their diplomatic relations in 1978, after failing to resolve their territorial dispute. However, both governments have intensified their commercial ties to the point of establishing an economic complementation agreement in April of 1993.

On the other hand, presidential sources confirmed to the Associated Press that one of the topics that would be in the political agenda is the need of a more objective multilateral certification program in the fight against drugs.

Currently the United States is the only country that certifies or decertifies countries based on their commitment to fight against drugs.

By Adalid Cabrera Lemuz ©1998 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed