Landlocked Bolivia has historically demanded a sovereign passageway to the Pacific Ocean through Chile after an 1879 war with their neighbor forced them to lose 400km of coastline. The two South American countries have avoided diplomatic relations since 1978.
Santos said that the dispute “was a bilateral issue between Bolivia and Chile, which has to be addressed through dialogue in a practical way that avoids international bodies,” according to a statement released by the Colombian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
A bilateral dialogue initiated in 2006 between the two countries was suspended last year after Bolivia decided it would rather take the dispute to an international tribunal.
Santos’ comments come days after Bolivian President Evo Morales’ official state visit to Bogota Thursday.