Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 12 /Trend, E.Tariverdiyeva/
Deputy foreign ministers of the Caspian states and experts have made a significant progress today on the draft
agreement on security cooperation on the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov said to a press conference.
"We hope that we can agree all remaining questions on the draft agreement at another meeting of experts such as today," said Khalafov. According to him, the work today took place in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust.
"We all are inclined to finalize the draft agreement in the near future," Khalafov said. According to him, concluding such an agreement will facilitate cooperation between the Caspian countries in the sphere of security, combating terrorism and other issues.
According to Khalafov, this agreement will also contribute to the advancement of a legal solution to the status of the Caspian Sea. According to the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov, the fact that the parties made progress today on drafting the security cooperation in the Caspian Sea in many respects is a merit of the chairman of today's meeting Khalaf Khalafov and his talented team.
"I would like to thank the Government of Azerbaijan for the excellent organization of today's meeting," said Ryabkov. According to him, all parties are inclined to work and to attach the supreme political will of the Caspian states to this document.
"This document would surely increase security in the region," said Ryabkov.
According to Deputy Foreign Minister of Iran, Iranian President's special envoy on the Caspian Sea Mohammad Akhundzadeh, the sides made progress on coordinating the issues of the agreement. "Given the importance of the issues, I want to say that we have achieved significant improvements compared with the previous two meetings on this issue. Today, we obviously made a great progress," he said.
According to him, the Iranian side hopes that until the summit of heads of states in November, the parties can reach a consent on the agreement.
According to the representative of Kazakh Foreign Ministry Zulfi Amanzholov, the today's meeting allows to hope that soon the parties will be able to agree upon the full text of the draft agreement.
Concluding the press conference, Khalafov said that there is a common will of all parties to resolve all outstanding issues on the draft agreement. "If the draft agreement is ready by mid-November, it can be put on the agenda of summit of heads of Caspian states, which will be held on Nov. 18 in Baku," he said.
In November 2003, the Caspian countries signed the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea.
In July 1998, Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on the delimitation of the northern part of the Caspian Sea in order to exercise sovereign rights for subsoil use.
On Nov. 29, 2001 and Feb.27, 2003, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on the delimitation of the Caspian Sea.
Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia signed an agreement on the delimitation of adjacent sections of the Caspian Sea on May 14, 2003.