Ashgabat: Baku summit designed to give new impetus to negotiations on Caspian Sea
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Nov. 18 / Trend H.Hasanov /
The summit of the Caspian littoral states scheduled for Nov. 18 in Baku is designed to give a new impetus to the negotiation process in an attempt to reach a consensus on important issues concerning the Caspian Sea and also to be an effective step in developing an optimal format of cooperation, the Turkmen government reported. The summit will also "forever consolidate the status of the Caspian sea in the spirit of peace, friendship and harmony," it said.
Turkmen President Gurbangulu Berdimuhammedov left the country for Azerbaijan to attend the summit and to hold a series of bilateral meetings.
The summit will consider a range of topical issues, primarily the elaboration of the legal status of Caspian Sea regional cooperation, particularly in ensuring Caspian Sea security.
The Turkmen government added that while implementing a foreign policy based on "principles of equality and mutually beneficial partnership and balanced national and common interests," the country hopes that the summit will enhance effective cooperation in the area of the Caspian Sea in both the bilateral and multilateral formats.
Turkmenistan was the initiator of the first Caspian summit held in Ashgabat in April 2002.
At the Ashgabat summit, Turkmenistan impressively and convincingly sounded its position on a strategy of partnership based on a shared responsibility for the Caspian Sea and universally recognized norms of international law.
The Ashgabat summit, which can without exaggeration be called historic, allowed the participants to discuss the priority aspects of the interaction and identify areas of cooperation in the search for mutually agreed solutions to the Caspian problem.
The dialogue launched in Ashgabat was continued in the Iranian capital of Tehran, which hosted the second summit of Caspian littoral states in October 2007. The countries signed a joint declaration at the Tehran summit.
Speaking at the summit, Berdimuhammedov said Turkmenistan will continue to participate actively in all matters relating to the legal status of the Caspian Sea to ensure peace and security in the region, strengthen good-neighborly relations, mutual understanding and trust between the peoples of the Caspian countries, which are united by a centuries-old historical and cultural ties, and expand the fruitful cooperation.
Baku will host the summit of the Caspian littoral countries on Nov. 18. A security cooperation agreement covering the Caspian Sea is expected to be signed at the Baku summit.
On Nov. 3-4, Baku hosted the fourth meeting of the deputy foreign ministers of the five Caspian littoral countries to coordinate a draft agreement on security cooperation in the Caspian Sea.
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.2 7, 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.