Iran's top diplomat has said any non-littoral military presence in the Caspian region is inadmissible, ITAR-TASS reported.
"Maintaining the Caspian Sea as a water area of peace, friendship and stability; refraining from the arms race; giving up the use of force and the inadmissibility of non-littoral military presence are the major prerequisites for guaranteeing peace and stability in the region," Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said on Tuesday. He was speaking at a ministerial conference of the five Caspian littoral countries - Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan on Tuesday.
"Security itself will facilitate economic prosperity," he said. Zarif said he was satisfied with the signing of an agreement on security in the region. "We would like to reach mutual understanding on ways of military construction and cooperation [in the region]," he said.
"Unfortunately, certain non-regional players consider the Caspian Sea as the only source of oil and gas and forget about the environment," Zarif said. "Iran believes that it is necessary to take steps that would meet multilateral long-term and joint interests," he said. A new status of the Caspian Sea must meet the needs and expectations of the littoral countries' peoples, Zarif said.
Iran calls for the earliest closure of the issue of the Caspian legal status, Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic Javad Zarif said.
"Iran believes that negotiations on the working out of the legal status of the Caspian should be completed as soon as possible," he stressed.
"It is necessary to work out a comprehensive legal status, based on the international law principles and norms, five-sided consensus and exclusively for the five littoral states, their sovereign rights and jurisdiction in this sea," Zarif said.
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