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Peru´s ministers go to Bolivia to talk gas

July 20, 2004 at 5:56 PM

LIMA, July 20 (UPI) -- A Peruvian ministerial delegation is preparing for negotiations later this month in Bolivia over the use of Peruvian ports for the export of Bolivian gas.

Minister of Energy and Mines Jaime Quijandría Salmón and Foreign Minister Manuel Rodríguez Cuadros will meet their Bolivian counterparts in 10 days to discuss the new situation with Bolivia's hydrocarbon industry.

The Bolivian government was authorized to export gas on its own outside of long-term contracts with foreign companies based on the referendum held last Sunday.

But since the War of the Pacific that ended in 1883 Bolivia has been landlocked by land lost to Chile. Southern Peru is the only other avenue.

Guillermo Torres, the Bolivian minister of hydrocarbons, said his country will also attempt to use its gas reserves as a negotiating tool with Chile to receive a sovereign land route to the Pacific Ocean. Torres said that Sunday's referendum authorized the government to use gas in this way.

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