Bolivia leader to meet Carter over land dispute with Chile


President Evo Morales planned to meet ex-US president Jimmy Carter in the US state of Georgia on Monday to discuss Bolivia's longstanding territorial dispute with Chile, officials said.

Last month landlocked Bolivia sued neighboring Chile in the Hague, in the latest maneuver in its attempt to recover land lost in a 19th century war and thus regain access to the Pacific.

Morales aimed to talk with Carter about the process that led the US to cede control of the Panama Canal back to Panama. La Paz argues this is a similar situation to its demands that Santiago return disputed land.

"The President went this morning to the city of Atlanta for his meeting with president Carter," the president's information office in La Paz told AFP.

The Panama Canal, originally built and administered by the US, was put under joint Panamanian-US rule in 1979, and returned to full Panamanian control in 1999.

Morales has argued it is an example of how treaties can be modified years after being signed.

In a war fought with Chile in 1879, Bolivia lost nearly 400 kilometers (250 miles) of coastline and 120,000 square kilometers of land.

In refusing Bolivia's demands for Chile to grant it sea access, Santiago has referred to a 1904 treaty between the two countries it says established their common borders.