Minister of Foreign Affairs on dispute with Peru: "This is part of Chile's sovereign territory"

"The legal and official standing" of Chile is that which exists today and it will be defended, Mariano Fernández stated emphatically.

16 de Marzo de 2009 | 12:56 | El Mercurio Online

SANTIAGO.- Just days after taking over as the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mariano Fernández has said that "the line of defense" against the maritime dispute presented to the International Tribunal of the Hague by Peru will remain inalterable, since the Chilean stance is that the borders with the neighboring country have already been clearly established.

"The official and legal stance of Chile on the matter, which is what is relevant at present, is that the maritime border is also the legal border between Peru and Chile and that is what will be respected. Chile has sovereignty over that territory and that is how it is and that is Chile's defense, which we hope will be backed by the Hague Tribunal", stated the new minister.

During an interview with Radio Cooperativa, Fernández also addressed claims that he had not traveled to India with President Michelle Bachelet in order to prepare Chile's defense.  "I was never on the agenda to go to India, I arrived on Friday and I was sworn in and the trip had already been scheduled", stated the minister, while adding that he thought it would be "untimely" for him to join the tour on his first day as minister.

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