Azerbaijan and Iran Ready for the Next Consultations on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea – Ambassador
Azerbaijan, Baku / Trend corr. S.Agayeva / There are plans to hold the next consultations to achieve an agreement on the legal status of the Caspian Sea in Teheran in the second quarter of December. Azerbaijan and Iran will attend to the consultations to achieve an agreement on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, said Abbasali Hasanov, Azerbaijani Ambassador in Iran through telephone from Teheran on 13 December.
The other three Caspian countries Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have not informed about their participation in the consultations. The meeting will be held by the Deputy Ministers of the Caspian countries. Khalaf Khalafov, the deputy Foreign Minister, will represent Azerbaijan in the meeting.
Azerbaijan, Russia and Kazakhstan have no contradictions in the issue of the division of the bottom of the Caspian Sea. There are bilateral and trilateral agreements amongst these countries on this issue. However, there are some disagreements on the issue with Turkmenistan and Iran.
No serious agreement was achieved during the summit of the heads of the Caspian Sea countries in Teheran on 16 October 2007. On 15 and 16 October, 2007 Iran hosted the second summit of the Caspian Sea countries, which included Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan. The meeting followed the 2002 Ashgabat summit, and it had the same main objective: to achieve an agreement on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, and to define the littoral states' ownership of the sea's resources.The ongoing controversy over the access and the exploitation of the Caspian Sea arose in the aftermath of the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which led to the collapse of the previous bilateral agreement that divided the Caspian Sea and its resources equally between Iran and Russia. To adjust to the new political environment, Iran now proposes to divide the existing resources equally among the new five independent states, claiming therefore a 20 percent share of the sea.