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Argentina Welcomes Peruvian Gesture to Bolivia on Facilities for Access to the Sea

By Dialogo
October 25, 2010

Following a meeting with President Alan García at the Palace of Government in Lima, the foreign minister of Argentina, Héctor Timerman, expressed his country’s satisfaction with the facilities granted to Bolivia by Peru for non-sovereign access to the sea.

“I congratulated the president (García), and I expressed to him Argentina’s appreciation of the gesture Peru has made in making available to Bolivia a more extensive area for its access to the sea,” said the foreign minister, who was on an official visit to Peru.

“It is a generous gesture that brings nations together as brothers and shows the feeling there is among the countries of Latin America,” he added in a conversation with reporters while touring Lima’s historic center after meeting with García.

Timerman indicated that he does not believe that the Peruvian gesture could discomfit Chile or that the Peruvian-Bolivian agreement could be understood as putting pressure on Santiago to grant Bolivia access to the sea.

Bolivia lost its access to the sea during the War of the Pacific in the nineteenth century, in which, as an ally of Peru, it opposed Chile, which won the conflict and took Peruvian and Bolivian territory.

“I don’t know what Chile thinks; I do know what Argentina thinks. It’s a gesture that shows that in Latin America we are beyond all these conflicts; if we can help another country, we’re going to do it,” he said.

At a meeting on 19 October in the Peruvian port of Ilo, Peruvian President Alan García and Bolivian President Evo Morales signed a protocol relaunching the Boliviamar project, a port zone of 5 kilometers of coast and 160 hectares that was granted by Peru to Bolivia in 1992 for 99 years.

The agreement grants new and greater facilities for access to the Pacific for Bolivian exports, especially minerals and gas. It includes the construction of an annex of the Bolivian Naval School and berths for Bolivian commercial ships and naval training ships.