Caspian Problems to be Discussed in Baku

Azerbaijan, Baku, 14 May / corr. Trend S. Agayeva/ The delegation of the Turkmenistan government in Azerbaijan is working out the Turkmen president Gurbangulu Berdimuhammadov's official visit to Azerbaijan.

The visit of the Turkmen President will take place on 19-20 May and experts from the two countries are working on the program of the visit, Vahdat Sultanzade, the counselor of Embassy of Azerbaijan in Turkmenistan said to Trend from Ashgabat over a telephone on 14 May.

Construction of the trans-Caspian gas pipeline Turkmenistan-Azerbaijan-Turkey-Europe is expected to be discussed during Berdimuhammadov's visit to Azerbaijan.

One of the key issues to be discussed during the talks will be a judicial status of the Caspian. The consultations between the two countries were resumed in the early 2008, after a long-term cooling of the political ties between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan at the end of 1990s. The reason for the cooling of the relations was Kapaz field in the Caspian. The relations between the two countries were restored after a new President of Turkmenistan was elected.

During April talks between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, the positions of the two opponents over the 'Caspian's status became closer, but there is still not a true consensus as yet.

The issue on determination of the juridical status of the Caspian Sea occurred after the split of the USSR. Before 1991, the status was based on the agreements between the littoral states - Iran and the Soviet Union. In July 1998, Kazakhstan and Russia signed an agreement on delimitation of the bed of the Caspian Sea's northern section for exercising the sovereign right for using the interior resources, and in May 2002 they signed a protocol for that agreement. Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan signed the same documents in November 2001 and February 2003.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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