Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend A.Ismayilova / The Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev stated in Tehran on 16 October that all conditions have been offered for the definition of the Caspian legal status. Addressing the summit of the Caspian littoral countries Aliyev said that the sides gained enough experience through talks over the past few years.
A summit of five Caspian littoral countries, including Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan, began in Tehran on 16 October. The gathering will focus on the legal status of the Caspian, which remains unsettled after the collapse of the former USSR.
The first summit of the Caspian littoral countries was held in Ashgabat in April 2002. The gathering adopted a decision to conduct the second summit in Tehran in 2003. However, the event has been repeatedly postponed every year.
Azerbaijan, Russia and Kazakhstan do not lay any claims on each other on the issue of division of the Caspian sea ground. These three countries have signed bilateral and trilateral agreements in respect to this. The sides came to a common ground on the definition of the coordinates of the medium delineation line.
However, Turkmenistan and Iran abstained on the issue of definition of coordinates of the medium line. Despite discussions for many years, this is a major obstacle in the determination of the Caspian status.
Aliyev said that this meeting of the Presidents of Caspian littoral countries in Tehran will enable the sides to close their positions and give impetus to achieving serious results. Along with providing a basis for the development and cooperation between the Caspian littoral countries, the solution of the Caspian status will also ensure security in the Caspian Sea.
Caspian natural resources include over 500 types of plants and 854 types of fish (including 90% of the world sturgeon reserves). Oil reserves in correlation to the world's are not so huge (2%), but enough to cover the energy security of the region. After the collapse of the USSR the number of Caspian littoral countries increased from two to five and the adoption of a new agreement on the legal status of the Caspian was needed with the participation of all littoral countries.