Delimitation of Caspian Sea not finalized at Moscow summit

TEHRAN, Dec. 15 (MNA) – FM Spokesman Ghasemi said delimitation of the Caspian Sea between littoral states had not been an issue on agenda of last week’s ministerial meeting in Russia.

In response to reporters’ questions on outcomes of the ministerial meeting of five Caspian Sea littoral states (Iran, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Russia, and Kazakhstan) held in Moscow on December 4-5, Bahram Ghasemi rejected the issue of deciding on shares of participating countries at the summit asserting “delimitation issue not only were not finalized but they were not even on the agenda of the summit.

“As such, Iran has not offered any reconsiderations on delimitation of the Caspian Sea among the five littoral states,” he continued.

Spokesman of the Iranian foreign ministry later clarified that the process of negotiating delimitation will be pursued outside the scope of the Convention on the Caspian Sea’s legal status and, due to extensive differences in stances, does not seem to be concluded in the near future compounded by the fact that inclusion of all details in the Convention remains practically impossible. “At the same time, issues relating to limits and shares of each country will be negotiated under other agreements and protocols details of which will be announced later.”

Ghasemi later underlined that the Convention on legal status and regime of the Caspian Sea, like any other convention, only contained basic principles and general rights and obligations of countries in various fields making it impossible to insert details of all matters.

“The Caspian Sea Convention covers general principles including objectives, definitions, principles of cooperation, how to exercise sovereignty, governing law and jurisdiction, environmental protection, maritime monopoly only under flag of coastal states, the prohibition on military presence of non-coastal states, maritime issues, transportation, access to/from free waters, transit, equality of treatment, non-discrimination against flagged vessels, conservation and optimal use of living aquatic resources, general security, energy, marine research and cooperation mechanisms among the others,” the official stated.

At the end of his remarks, Bahram Ghasemi reiterated that no document had been signed at the Moscow summit though it had been agreed that certain legal measures be taken after internal coordination and holding several bilateral expert meetings; “eventually, effort will be made to implement the Convention of the Caspian Sea Legal Regime after the final text is signed at a forthcoming meeting of the Presidents of the five Caspian Sea countries, the date of which will be agreed on later.”

The seventh ministerial meeting of Caspian littoral states was held in Moscow this week, focused at a speedy agreement on text of the Convention on the Caspian Sea’s legal status. Foreign ministers of Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan came together for the seventh time to hold talks on the text of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea.

The previous meetings of the Caspian Sea heads of states were held in 2002 in Ashgabat, 2007 in Tehran, 2010 in Baku and 2014 in Astrakhan. Kazakhstan's Astana will host the fifth Caspian summit in 2017. 

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