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Viewing cable 08LIMA177, TAKING THE MARITIME DISPUTE TO THE HAGUE: PERU'S

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
08LIMA177 2008-01-31 15:03 2011-02-19 12:12 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Lima
Appears in these articles:
http://elcomercio.pe/
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #0177/01 0311532
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311532Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7790
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION PRIORITY 1905
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA PRIORITY 5461
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 7744
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES PRIORITY 3261
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 1025
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ JAN 4720
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO PRIORITY 9424
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 1717
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO PRIORITY 1718
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL PRIORITY
C O N F I D E N T I A L LIMA 000177 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/30/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR CI PE
SUBJECT: TAKING THE MARITIME DISPUTE TO THE HAGUE: PERU'S 
PERSPECTIVE 
 
REF: A. LIMA 072 
     B. SANTIAGO 077 
 
Classified B...

id: 139497
date: 1/31/2008 15:32
refid: 08LIMA177
origin: Embassy Lima
classification: CONFIDENTIAL
destination: 08LIMA72|08SANTIAGO77
header:
VZCZCXYZ0000
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHPE #0177/01 0311532
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
P 311532Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY LIMA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7790
INFO RUEHAC/AMEMBASSY ASUNCION PRIORITY 1905
RUEHBO/AMEMBASSY BOGOTA PRIORITY 5461
RUEHBR/AMEMBASSY BRASILIA PRIORITY 7744
RUEHBU/AMEMBASSY BUENOS AIRES PRIORITY 3261
RUEHCV/AMEMBASSY CARACAS PRIORITY 1025
RUEHLP/AMEMBASSY LA PAZ JAN 4720
RUEHMN/AMEMBASSY MONTEVIDEO PRIORITY 9424
RUEHQT/AMEMBASSY QUITO PRIORITY 1717
RUEHSG/AMEMBASSY SANTIAGO PRIORITY 1718
RHEHAAA/NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUMIAAA/USCINCSO MIAMI FL PRIORITY


----------------- header ends ----------------

C O N F I D E N T I A L LIMA 000177 

SIPDIS 

SIPDIS 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 01/30/2018 
TAGS: PGOV PREL PINR CI PE
SUBJECT: TAKING THE MARITIME DISPUTE TO THE HAGUE: PERU'S 
PERSPECTIVE 

REF: A. LIMA 072 
     B. SANTIAGO 077 

Classified By: POL/C ALEXIS LUDWIG FOR REASONS 1.4 (B) 

1. (C) Summary: The GOP continues to emphasize that its 
decision to take Peru's maritime border dispute with Chile to 
the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague should 
be seen not as an unfriendly act but rather as an effort to 
resolve an impediment to broader integration.  A prominent 
local analyst explained that the Hague process was initiated 
by former President Toledo's government and could not have 
been easily derailed by Garcia.  Chilean Political Counselor 
told us his government knew the Hague submission was coming 
but that it contradicted President Garcia's earlier 
assurances to President Bachelet that pursuing the maritime 
dispute would not be a priority.  While confident about its 
legal position, the GOC was concerned the ICJ could rule, at 
least partially, in Peru's favor.  For its part, the GOP 
hopes that Chile and Peru can get back to building better 
relations once the noise dies down.  End Summary. 

Peru Hopes To Continue Improving Relations 
------------------------------------------ 
2. (C) What the GOP has told us privately mirrors the message 
government officials have repeatedly stated in public: Peru 
hopes to leave its maritime dispute with Chile in the 
apolitical channel of the International Court of Justice in 
The Hague while the two countries continue to build bilateral 
confidence and cooperation.  Foreign Minister Jose Garcia 
Belaunde has publicly reiterated that Chile should not view 
submission of the case as an unfriendly act, but rather as an 
effort to amicably resolve a longstanding bilateral irritant. 
 Jaime Sparks, Chile desk officer at Peru's Foreign Ministry, 
commented to Poloff that the loud media reaction of both 
countries was expected but would probably soon fade, just as 
it did after the GOP published the new maritime border map in 
August 2007.  He also hoped the tit-for-tat rhetoric -- 
including Vice President Gampietri's criticism of Chile's 
decision to delay fast-track consideration of their bilateral 
trade agreement -- would not escalate. 

3. (C) A prominent local foreign policy analyst, Alejandro 
Deustua, told poloffs that Peru's maritime claim was 
long-standing, legally justified, and broadly supported.  (A 
recent El Comercio poll stated that 99% of Peruvians 
supported taking the claim to the Hague.)  Deustua 
underscored that Peru's repeated requests to discuss the 
maritime border, dating back to 1986, have been routinely 
ignored because Chile believed the issue was settled by 
agreements in 1952 and 1954.  Deustua added that the decision 
to prepare a legal case for submission to the ICJ in The 
Hague was taken in 2005 by President Toledo and that, since 
taking office, President Garcia had striven to lower the 
temperature of what has been a hugely sensitive and volatile 
issue in Peru.  Ironically, given the heated reaction from 
Chile, many Peruvian political actors had criticized 
President Garcia for deemphasizing and slowing down the 
process instead of publicly championing it. 

Perspective From the Chilean Embassy 
------------------------------------ 
4. (C) Chile's XXXXXXXXXXXX Counselor in Lima XXXXXXXXXXXX 
confirmed to us that the Peruvians had informed his Embassy 
and his government at every level and at every stage in the 
process about their plans to submit the case to the ICJ.  In 
that sense, the GOC was not surprised or blindsided by Peru's 
submission.  At the same time, however, during a visit to 
Chile as president-elect, Garcia had assured Bachelet that 
pursuing the maritime dispute would not be a priority issue 
for his government, and that the GOC felt "betrayed" by the 
apparent shift.  XXXXXXXXXXXX said that his government had to 
publicly voice its opposition to the GOP's actions, but 
predicted that the furor would soon die down.  (Note: Chile's 
Ambassador to Peru Christian Barros, who was called back to 
Santiago for consultations after the GOP submitted its 
paperwork in The Hague, has since returned to Lima.  End 
Comment.) 

5. (C) XXXXXXXXXXXX added that his government had become more 
concerned that the Hague could grant concessions to Peru 
after a unanimous Court decision in December to adjudicate a 
similar maritime dispute between Colombia and Nicaragua. 
That decision could effectively invalidate a bilateral 
agreement demarcating the territory, according to XXXXXXXXXXXX , on 
the grounds that only a full treaty can make such 
demarcations.  XXXXXXXXXXXX feared this argument would provide a 
small window for Peru's contention that the 1952 and 1954 
fishing accords were not legally sufficient to settle the 
boundary.  XXXXXXXXXXXX said they were less concerned about an 
October ruling regarding a Honduras-Nicaragua boundary 
dispute (ref A). 

Comment: 
-------- 
6. (C) The Garcia Government has placed a high priority on 
improving its relations with Chile.  But this necessarily 
means overcoming (or sidestepping) a series of emotionally 
and politically charged issues and focusing on pragmatic 
interests such as broader commercial and security 
integration.  One of the thorniest obstacles to this larger 
goal, in terms of its potential effect on domestic politics, 
is Peru's maritime border claim with Chile.  Whatever its 
legal merits (there appear to be compelling arguments on both 
sides), in submitting its legal brief to the ICJ the GOP 
hopes to let the process play itself out quietly, impartially 
and without reference to internal (Peruvian or Chilean) 
politics.  Once the predictable bilateral uproar subsides, 
the hope here is that Peru and Chile can get on with their 
real business. 
NEALON 

=======================CABLE ENDS============================