Baku, Astana mull legal status of Caspian Sea Legal Issues
IIKSS - Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan have held consultations on the legal status of the Caspian Sea in Baku.
Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov represented Azerbaijan, while ambassador-at-large at the Foreign Ministry Zulfiya Amanzholova attended the consultations on behalf of Kazakhstan.
The two discussed articles of a draft Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea and other related issues.
The diplomats emphasized the necessity of increasing joint efforts to hold the next meeting of the special working group at the level of deputy foreign ministers of the Caspian littoral states on complete coordination of the draft Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea and preparation of the Convention in Ashgabat ahead of the next summit of heads of the Caspian littoral states.
The legal status of the Caspian Sea has remained unsolved for over 20 years, preventing development and exploitation of its disputable oil and gas fields and creating obstacles to the realization of major energy projects.
The Caspian basin is extremely rich with oil and gas resources and has caused an uneasy relationship between all littoral states.
Iran seeks an equal division of the Caspian into 5 even sectors, mainly because most of offshore energy resources are located away from the Iranian coastline. Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan reject the proposal on division of the seabed based on median lines,and instead backs giving each state a share proportional to its coastline length.
Turkmenistan also demands division of the Sea into equal parts between the pre-Caspian countries so that each country must have 20 percent of the sea.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov recently announced that Moscow expects that a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea to be signed at the fifth Caspian Summit to take place in Kazakhstan’s Astana in 2017.