Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, March 30
By Huseyn Hasanov - Trend:
The convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea is designed to create a legal basis for the long-term international cooperation, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said on March 29, the government reported.
"While holding an active position on the Caspian Sea, neutral Turkmenistan is committed to work out an optimal variant of the Convention as a reference document which is intended to be a reliable tool for mutual relations of the Caspian littoral countries in various areas and to create a legal basis for the productive long-term international cooperation," the president said.
The Caspian Sea washes the shores of Azerbaijan , Iran, Kazakhstan , Russia and Turkmenistan .
It was earlier reported that the legal status of the Caspian Sea will be a key issue for the upcoming summit of the Caspian littoral countries to be held in Russia's Astrakhan in the first half of 2014.
President Berdimuhamedov said that Turkmenistan has consistently advocated for resolving the issues on the Caspian Sea exclusively by diplomatic means on the basis of universally recognized norms of the international law, the principles of mutual respect and interests of partners, according to the report.
The Turkmen leader emphasized the need to continue the joint work aimed at further coordinating the sides' positions and optimizing the effective interaction, including the development of the balanced international legal mechanisms of regulating the various aspects of activity and cooperation in the Caspian Sea.
"The Caspian Sea is a unique natural reservoir," the president said. "Turkmenistan will continue to take progressive actions to ensure its ecological condition, preserve the biological diversity, use the rich resources rationally and strengthen its status as a sea of peace, friendship , good-neighborliness and fruitful partnership."
Turkmenistan ranks fourth on the largest natural gas reserves in the world. It is one of the key players in the energy market in the Caspian region and Central Asia.
Turkmenistan plans to bring the annual natural gas production up to 250 billion cubic meters in 2030 in accordance with the program of the oil and gas sector development.
Ashgabat adheres to a policy of diversification of gas supplies to the world markets. It considers the pipeline route to Europe via the Caspian Sea and Azerbaijan as one of the most attractive ones. The Turkmen side expressed its readiness to conduct the appropriate environmental impact assessment with the participation of international experts to implement this project.
Translated by NH