Details added below fourth paragraph (first version posted on 16:24)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.30
By Seba Aghayeva - Trend:
The Astrakhan Summit of the heads of state of Caspian Sea countries laid the foundation for the new stage of determining the status of the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan's Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov told reporters on Sept.30.
He said the agreement on bio resources will give opportunity to all five littoral states to more rationally use these resources of the Caspian Sea.
"The second important factor is the signing of the agreements on cooperation in emergency situations and hydrometeorology adopted during the summit," the deputy minister said.
Khalafov added that the statement of the heads of state determined the main principles for defining the status of the Caspian Sea.
The next summit will be held in Kazakhstan and the working group has been instructed to prepare the draft convention for signing, according to the deputy minister.
"By singing the Contract of the Century in 1994, Azerbaijan laid the foundation for the international cooperation in the Caspian Sea region," Khalafov said.
"The trilateral agreements previously signed with Russia and Kazakhstan, give us the full right to develop fields in the Caspian Sea," he said.
The deputy minister said that sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-interference in each other's affairs have been determined as the basic principles for cooperation among the Caspian Sea countries.
Khalafov said all the littoral states agreed that the Caspian Sea should remain a zone of peace and all the problems should be resolved only through peaceful means.
"Like all Caspian Sea countries, Azerbaijan is against the militarization of the Caspian Sea. All other littoral states should be warned before carrying out military exercises in the Caspian Sea," he added.
Khalafov said that finally, after 18 years of negotiations, the sides agreed on the basic issues related to the Caspian Sea, which means that the atmosphere of trust and cooperation has improved in the Caspian Sea region.
"At the same time, the cooperation in the sphere of shipping in the Caspian Sea, improvement of the ecosystem of the sea were also among the important issues reflected in the statement of the heads of state," he added.
The 4th Caspian Summit was held in Astrakhan, Russia on Sept. 29.
The summit brought together the heads of all Caspian littoral states - Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.
The 'Caspian Five' (Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) reached several important agreements on the common use of the Caspian Sea.
By putting forward various initiatives, Azerbaijan played an important role in reaching agreements.