Organization of American States (OAS) head José Miguel Insulza said that Chile and Peru should settle their differences over a recent border conflict via dialogue. At a visit to Lima for a meeting of Latin American countries involved in the peacekeeping process in Haiti, Insulza warned of the presence of radical sectors, or hawks, wishing to upset relations between the two countries.
In what was the second statement from the OAS regarding the Chile-Peru maritime border dispute, Insulza publicly recognized the need for the issue to be resolved diplomatically. "I hope this issue comes to have an anecdotic character, and Peru and Chile solve their problems," said Insulza, who also made reference to the political factions that wish to upset relations between Peru and Chile. "A lot of the time, people will say that there's something fishy going on, when in fact everything is normal. There are definitely hawks out there, in newspapers, in Congress, and in the public." Chile Foreign Relations Minister Alberto van Klaveren was also in Peru this week, at the first official meeting between the two countries since the border dispute which arose in January, when Chile's government attempted to bring forward legislation concerning the creation of a new Region XV in the north of the country. The legislation would have redefined Chile's land borders with Peru. Peru has maintained for some years now that its maritime borders with Chile have never been properly defined. However, La Moneda's position has always been that "there are no unresolved issues" concerning the maritime border. Peruvian Foreign Minister José Antonio García Belaunde reiterated Peru's position Tuesday, saying he did not rule out taking the conflict to the International Court of Justice in The Hague. "The maritime limits have never been defined," said García Belaunde. "Chileans cannot pretend that fishing agreements are the same as border limits, and that is the pending issue in our relation with that country, as I have always said." Van Klaveren continued to deny the existence of a border problem between the two countries. "This debate has less to do with this visit from Chilean authorities than it has to do with internal conflicts and accusations within different political sectors of Peru," he said. Van Klaveren also made it clear that Chile's government is "calm" regarding the border issue with Peru. "Peru has one position regarding the maritime border, and Chile has another," he said. "I think that's the way things are, and they're not going to change." The Santiago Times - News about Chile