Azerbaijan & Turkmenistan expected to sign agreement on Caspian legal status: deputy FM (UPDATE)

Azerbaijan & Turkmenistan expected to sign agreement on Caspian legal status: deputy FM (UPDATE)

EDITOR's NOTE: Details have been added after the third paragraph

Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 22. / Trend E.Ostapenko /

Azerbaijan expects signing of an agreement with Turkmenistan and convergence in the positions of all the Caspian littoral countries on the definition of the Caspian Sea status in the near future, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov told journalists On Oct.22.

"We hope that Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan will sign a cooperation agreement," Khalafov said at a meeting on security in the Caspian region. "I believe that the Caspian littoral countries have reached an agreement and the relevant structures and institutions will contribute to our cooperation in all fields."

According to Khalafov, the present meeting is a very important event to determine the Caspian legal status and to resolve all issues pending at the Tehran summit where the first agreement on cooperation of the Caspian littoral countries was signed.

Khalafov said that one of the final decisions taken by the presidents at the Tehran summit aimed at ensuring mutually beneficial cooperation and development of effective mechanisms by the internal agencies, border and customs services.

Azerbaijan has prepared a draft agreement on the basis of proposals and submitted it to his counterparts. It will be more probably discussed on Oct.22-23, Khallafov said.

"Attraction of a growing number of countries makes the prospects associated with the region more attractive. All the projects initiated in the region are being implemented successfully," he said.

Khalafov named the division of the water surface of the Caspian Sea as another topical and important issue. Rapprochement between the Caspian littoral countries in the recent years gives ground to believe that these countries will reach an agreement soon, Khalafov added.

On the division of the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia have no claims for each other's sectors. There are both bilateral and trilateral agreements between these countries on the issue. The parties have also agreed to determine the coordinates of the dividing line. The issue is yet to be agreed with two countries - Turkmenistan and Iran. It is due to this that the status of the Caspian Sea has not yet been defined, despite many years of discussions.

Azerbaijan was the first Caspian Sea country to begin to set the limits of the world's largest lake and define control over it. The Republic of Azerbaijan was the first to announce accessibility to its sector of the Caspian Sea on Sept. 20 in 1994 by signing an international contract ("The Contract of the Century") with Western companies on a PSA model - production sharing agreement. This has also been reflected in the Basic Law of Azerbaijan, dated 1995.

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