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Mediation by a neutral third party appeared to be the only way to prevent an eventual military battle. From the Chilean perspective, the third party had to have certain attributes. Later, Cubillos was to tell Thomas Princen, “[a]nd when we talk of power, I’m talking about influence, moral power, political power, economic power. Argentina too was moving towards mediation, and Argentine candidates to undertake the task included “the King of Spain, the United Nations, the Queen of England, UN Secretary General Kurt Waldheim, Henry Kissinger, and the Pope."


In 1978, an Argentine diplomat proposed a method of defusing a territorial dispute that very nearly sparked off a war between Argentina and Chile, It,was an offer calculated to be rejected by Chile, and yet Chile’s immediate response was “Agreed” - a response so unthinkable to Argentina that within hours its military Junta revoked the power of the Foreign Minister and the President to sign the agreement it had just proposed. In December 1978, the countries were quickly moving towards a war that, if waged, would most likely have engulfed much of Latin America. The Vatican, however, intervened and brought peace between the parties.