Azerbaijan, Baku / corr Trend S.Agayeva / A meeting of the working group on definiting the Caspian legal status due in Tehran, originally scheduled for 25-26 December, has been postpned.One of the countries was not prepared for the meeting and it was adjourned for some later date, the Foreign Ministry said on 25 December. However, the Ministry did not name the country. The meeting was supposed to be held by the Deputy Ministers of the Caspian countries. Khalaf Khalafov, the deputy Foreign Minister, was expected to represent Azerbaijan in the meeting.
Azerbaijan, Russia and Kazakhstan have no contradictions in the issue regarding 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 regarding the issue with Turkmenistan and Iran. Iran abstains, which is explained because of the indefiniteness of the Caspian status, despite long discussions.
On 16 Oct 2007, no serious agreement was achieved during the summit among the heads of the Caspian Sea countries in Teheran. On 15 and 16 Oct 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. In order to adjust to the new political environment, Iran now proposes to divide the existing resources equally among the new five independent states, claiming therefore 20 % share of the sea.