Legal status of Caspian Sea back on agenda Legal Issues

Baku hosted the next meeting of the special working group created at the level of deputy ministers to develop a convention on a legal status of the Caspian Sea.

Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Khalaf Khalafov, addressing the session on April 5, stated that achieving an early conclusion of the convention will serve to the cooperation and interaction among the Caspian littoral states.

Azerbaijan attaches a great importance to the agreements signed on the delimitation issue of the Caspian Sea between Baku, Astana and Moscow, the deputy minister added.

“All the issues related to the legal status of the Caspian Sea should be resolved based on respect for the sovereign rights of states and mutually beneficial partnership,” he said.

The deputy minister emphasized that questions related to the sovereignty and jurisdiction which included to the agenda of the meeting require a detailed and thorough discussion.

The Caspian Sea plays an important role in the transport corridors, along with being an important part of the international and regional projects, Khalafov stressed.

Azerbaijan has already ratified all the agreements inked during the 4th summit of the heads of state of the Caspian littoral states, he further added.

Fulfillment of the agreements signed by the heads of the Caspian Sea countries remains the priority of the negotiation process on the legal status of the sea, according to Khalafov.

Khalafov believes that the success of the work on the five-sided agreement on the draft convention mainly depends on the continuation of a constructive exchange of views in the negotiations process.

He said that the discussion of certain issues in the format of exchange of views between experts is a positive experience for reaching general agreements.

The issues related to strengthening the international cooperation, improving the investment climate for developing and transportation of energy resources to world markets, creation of reliable and secure communication, attracting highly profitable and environmentally friendly technologies are of special importance, according to the deputy minister.

Igor Bradcikov- President's Russian representative for the delimitation and demarcation of the state border with the CIS countries, Ibrahim Rahimpur- Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister and the country's special representative for Caspian affairs, Zulfiya Amanjolova- Ambassador at large of the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Kazakhstan, and Muradgeldi Atadjanov- Turkmen representative were also among participant of the meeting.

Determining the legal status of the Caspian Sea has become one of the problematic issues among the five littoral states since demise of the Soviet Union.

The legal status have been remained unsolved during the past two decades, preventing development and exploitation of its disputable oil and gas fields and creating obstacles to the realization of major energy projects.

The countries of the Caspian Sea have been holding different views on the delimitation of the sea for a long time which mainly rooted in uncertainty whether it should be considered as sea or a lake as different practices exist to determine legal status of various water basins.

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