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Kazakh FM: Date of Caspian states’ summit depends on convention’s readiness

18 May 2017 [15:19] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews

By Kamila Aliyeva

The timing of the summit of the Caspian littoral states in Kazakhstan depends on the degree of readiness of the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, Kazakhstan’s Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said on May 18.

"The summit of the Caspian states is planned for adoption of the long-awaited convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea. We will soon agree on a comprehensive document that will regulate the legal status of the Caspian Sea at the expert level," Abdrakhmanov said at a press conference, TASS reported.

The legal status of the Caspian Sea has 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 projects.

In the near future "it is planned to meet at the expert level and at the level of special envoys and special representatives in Ashgabat," according to the minister.

"After that, the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Caspian states will be convened in Ashgabat. And then, as the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea is ready, the specific date for the  next summit of the leaders of the five Caspian Sea states will be determined,” he said.

The Caspian Sea is surrounded by the five coastal countries of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan. The Sea has a total surface area of 371,000 km², holding 78,200 cubic km of water.

Russia, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan hold to the principle of dividing into national sectors based on the “median line” principles since it is an international boundary lake, and leaving the sea surface for general use, i.e. they are for demarcation of mineral resources and the Caspian Sea shelf, but against dividing up its waters. 

Iran seeks an equal division of the Caspian into 5 even sectors, mainly because most of the offshore energy resources are located away from the Iranian coastline. Turkmenistan also demands the division of the Sea into equal parts between the pre-Caspian countries so that each country has 20 percent of the sea.

The Caspian littoral states signed a Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea in November 2003.


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