19:06 GMT +322 October 2018
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    Bolivian President Evo Morales offers a press conference at the Quemado presidential palace in La Paz on May 5, 2015

    Morales Pardons Ex Bolivian Presidents Seeking Support in Dispute With Chile

    © AFP 2018 / AIZAR RALDES
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    MEXICO CITY (Sputnik) – Bolivian President Evo Morales said on Thursday he had decided to pardon two former country’s presidents – Jorge Quiroga and Carlos Mesa – so that they could support him in the territorial dispute with Chile, as reported by the ABI news agency.

    "I decided that no president – except those accused of crimes against humanity or genocide – will be subjected to prosecutions that will hinder foreign or domestic political activities aimed at protection [of the country’s interests] in line with the maritime law via negotiations," Morales said, as quoted by the ABI news agency.

    READ MORE: Bolivian President Morales Declares End to Hostile Relations With Chile

    Morales pointed out that this was his personal decision and called on the former presidents, accused of corruption and embezzlement, to make all possible efforts to return Bolivia’s access to the Pacific Ocean.

    Bolivia lost the coast Department of Litoral (now known as the Antofagasta region) in 1884 as a result of the War of the Pacific (also known as the Saltpeter War), in which it was defeated by Chile. Bolivia has sought to regain access to the Pacific Ocean since 2013. In mid-September, the Chilean Foreign Ministry said that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) would make its verdict on the issue on October 1.

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    Tags:
    former president, dispute, negotiations, pardon, Evo Morales, Chile, Bolivia
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