Azerbaijan, Baku, 5 February / Тrend corr E. Huseynov / Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan's governmental working groups on determination of the Caspian Sea's status will hold consultations in Baku on 6-10 February. The Turkmen delegation headed by the Deputy Foreign Minister Khoshgeldi Babayev will arrive in Baku early on 6 February, the Azerbaijani Embassy in Turkmenistan reported to Trend in a phone conversation on 5 February.
The consultations will begin in Baku on 6 February. The Azerbaijani side will be headed by the Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov, who is also the President's Special Representative for the Caspian Sea problem.
The consultations on the Caspian Sea status between the two countries' working groups were suspended at the end of the 90s when the political relationships between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan deteriorated. The two countries resumed their relations after Turkmenistan elected its new President. In November 2007, Khalafov paid a visit to Ashgabat for the first time and discussed the enhancement of the bilateral relationship.
The ongoing controversy over the access and 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.
Kazakhstan and Russia signed an agreement on delineating the bed of the Caspian Sea's north part in July 1998, as well as the protocol to the agreement in May 2002. Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on delineating the bed of the Caspian Sea and protocol to the agreement on 29 November 2001 and 27 February 2003 respectively.
The coastal states signed the Framework convention to protect the marine environment of the Caspian Sea in November 2003.
An agreement on the bordering bed of the Caspian Sea was signed between Kazakhstan, Russia and Azerbaijan on 14 May 2003.
Currently, Azerbaijan has failed to come to an agreement with Iran and Turkmenistan on the status of the Caspian Sea.
The agreement on restoration of the negotiations was achieved on 17 January during the Ashgabat meeting between Khalaf Khalafov and the Turkmen Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Rashid Meredov.