Azerbaijan: Caspian Sea’s legal status issues must be settled in spirit of respect to littoral countries’ sovereign rights (UPDATE)

Politics Materials 13 July 2016 12:01 (UTC +04:00)

Details added (first version posted at 10:18)

Baku, Azerbaijan, July 13

Azerbaijan is confident that all the issues related to the Caspian Sea’s legal status must be resolved in the spirit of respect for sovereign rights of the Caspian countries and mutually beneficial partnership, said Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.

He made the remarks at a meeting of foreign ministers of the Caspian littoral countries in Astana, Kazakhstan, July 13.

Mammadyarov also pointed to the necessity of strengthening trust among the sides, particularly in such issues as regional stability, security, economic, scientific and research activity in the Caspian Sea, in order to resolve the Caspian Sea’s legal status issues.
“Confidence building measures must also ensure equal security conditions for all the Caspian littoral countries,” he said.

“We are also sure that strengthening of stability in the Caspian Sea must be done taking into account the interests of all sides and causing no damage to the security of each other, respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence of the Caspian countries and not interfering in the internal affairs of each other,” he added.

Mammadyarov said great work has been done in the negotiation process to coordinate the provisions of the draft convention on the Caspian Sea’s legal status.

“The political decisions and agreements reached during the summits of heads of the Caspian states have contributed to the efficiency of further negotiations on the draft convention as a whole,” he said.

Mammadyarov pointed to the fruitful work done by the special working group at the level of deputy foreign ministers and their efforts to achieve a consensus on many fundamental provisions.

He also expressed hope that the work that has continued for many years will result in a comprehensive legal framework for interaction and cooperation on the Caspian Sea.

Mammadyarov said it is necessary to reach agreements on all the uncoordinated provisions of the draft convention before the next summit of the heads of the Caspian states.

“However, it is also necessary to make every effort to accelerate the coordination of the draft convention’s provisions that constitute an important basis for determining the legal status of the Caspian Sea,” he said.

The foreign minister also stressed that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the agreements on delimitation of the Caspian seabed among Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia, and expressed hope for a speedy resolution of the seabed delimitation issues in the central and southern parts of the sea.

“The Caspian Sea is an important component of many international and regional projects that are aimed at the economic development and welfare of the Caspian countries’ peoples and the global energy security,” he said.

Mammadyarov added that the sixth Conference of the Parties of Framework Convention for Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea is planned to be held in Baku.

He said that establishing a permanent secretariat of the Framework Convention will be one of the main goals of the conference.

The foreign minister added that the Azerbaijani side has prepared a draft agreement on establishing the secretariat in Baku and has submitted it to all the Caspian countries.