Azerbaijan, Baku, Dec.6 / Trend special correspondent A.Badalova /
The U.S. is encouraging the peaceful resolution of frozen conflicts in the region within international law, former United States Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said during his speech at the Caspian Forum in Istanbul on Thursday.
"Considering the Caspian five littoral states - Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan Turkmenistan and Iran, they have failed to agree many times on the status of Caspian Sea despite extensive talks for more than 20 years," he said.
According to Gates, however negotiations are continuing for construction of the Trans-Caspian pipeline to Europe.
He said no other country should interfere in the decision on the Trans-Caspian pipeline.
Trans-Caspian gas pipeline with length of about 300 kilometres will be laid from the Turkmen coast of the Caspian Sea to Azerbaijani, where it will be linked to the Southern Gas Corridor.
The negotiations between Turkmenistan and the EU and other countries on the construction of the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline have been held since late 1990s.
In September, 2011 the EU Council gave a mandate for the negotiations between the EU, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to build the Trans-Caspian gas pipeline.
Gates also said that with the signing of the U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Charter mutual cooperation have strengthened based on the U.S. support for Georgian territorial integrity and sovereignty and its commitment for democratic reforms.
"The U.S. assistance is designed not only to aid recovery from the 2008 conflict but help Georgia progress politically and economically," he said.
Military action was launched in the Georgian region of South Ossetia on Aug.8, 2008. Later Russian troops occupied the city of Tskhinvali and drove the Georgian military back. Russia recognised the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia in late August.
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