Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 11
By Emil Ismayilov - Trend:
There is hope that new agreements will be reached on the status of the Caspian Sea at a summit to be held in Russia next year, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister, Khalaf Khalafov told journalists on Dec.11.
The Caspian countries have now narrowed their positions on the Sea's status, Khalafov said.
Currently groups are working on a draft document which may be signed by the Heads of States at the summit in Russia. In the first quarter of next year prior to the summit of Heads of States, a meeting of foreign ministers is to be held. They will discuss the issues planned for consideration at the summit, Khalafov went on to note.
The deputy minister also added that in late January, Astana will host a meeting of the working group. Along with the Caspian Sea status, the group will discuss the signing of agreements for the protection of biological resources and environmental issues, especially with respect to determining the area of fisheries.
The littoral states (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Iran) signed the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea in November 2003.
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.
Translated by M.L.
Edited by S.M.