Bolivian Delegation will Travel to U.S. to Improve Bilateral Relations

By Dialogo
June 22, 2009

La Paz, 19 June (EFE). - The administration of Evo Morales confirmed today that a Bolivian delegation will travel to the United States on June 29 in order to make progress on the new framework agreement intended to repair the two countries’ bilateral relations. In a press conference, the Bolivian vice-chancellor, Hugo Fernández, announced that the talks with U.S. authorities are scheduled for “the 29th and 30th of this month.” Fernández added that the members of the delegation had not yet been determined. The Bolivian and U.S. governments laid the foundations in May, during a visit to La Paz by Thomas Shannon, who at the time was U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, for a dialogue to improve their bilateral relationship, which had deteriorated since the expulsion of their ambassadors in September 2008. In that meeting it was determined that the bilateral agenda would be based on the principles of respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, self-determination for communities, non-interference in internal affairs, and recognition of elected governments, among others. At that time the two delegations spoke positively about the inclination toward and signs suggesting a possible reconciliation between the La Paz and Washington administrations. Nevertheless, no deadlines were set for the mutual restoration of ambassadors, and the Bolivian government reaffirmed its position on thorny issues, such as its refusal to permit the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to operate in the country again.