Details added 12:28
Baku, Azerbaijan, Dec. 5
Prior to the fifth summit of the heads of the Caspian states to be held in Kazakhstan, it is necessary to exert maximum efforts to reach a consensus on all issues, which remain open, related to the status of the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan's Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said.
Mammadyarov made the remarks at a meeting of the Caspian littoral states' foreign ministers in Moscow on Dec. 5, the Foreign Ministry told Trend.
Addressing the meeting, Mammadyarov noted that over the past period, the participants in the negotiation process have done a great deal of work on the draft Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, and the decisions and the agreements reached during the five-sided meetings at the highest level contributed significantly to the rapprochement of the positions of all the Caspian states.
They gave a powerful impetus to the negotiating process as a whole and are of historical importance for the further strengthening of good-neighborly relations, fruitful cooperation and keeping stability in the Caspian region, he said.
"All the Caspian countries agree that it is necessary to make every effort to reach consensus on all open issues before the fifth summit of the heads of the Caspian states, which is planned to be held in Kazakhstan. We believe that consensus can be achieved taking into account the generally recognized world practice and norms of international maritime law ", Mammadyarov said.
He further noted that the efforts made should serve to consolidate the result of many years of work on the draft convention and create a comprehensive legal basis for interaction and cooperation of the states in the Caspian. This fundamental legal document is designed to lay a solid foundation for the future architecture of relations in the Caspian and will contribute to further strengthening of stability and security in the Caspian region.
Mammadyarov said that counteracting terrorism, transnational organized crime, illegal circulation of arms, narcotic drugs and human trafficking requires consolidation of efforts of all Caspian states against challenges and threats to international and regional stability and security.
"The Azerbaijani side is sure that all issues of the Caspian Sea Legal Status should be resolved in the spirit of respect for the sovereign rights of the Caspian states and mutually beneficial partnership, as well as through building confidence between the parties, particularly in matters of regional stability, security, economic and scientific research activities in the Caspian " Mammadyarov said.
"Confidence measures must include, among other things, ensuring equal security conditions for all the Caspian states, and we are confident that strengthening stability in the Caspian Sea must be based on taking into account the interests of all parties and not compromising each other's security, respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence of the Caspian states and non-interference in each other's internal affairs," the minister said.
Mammadarov noted that the early signing of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea will serve to take more effective measures aimed at further cooperation on the conservation of the ecosystem of the Caspian Sea, including cooperation of the Caspian states in various fields.