First meeting of working group on Caspian Sea status planned to be held in Baku

First meeting of working group on Caspian Sea status planned to be held in Baku

Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 23

By Leman Zeynalova - Trend:

The first meeting of the working group on the status of the Caspian Sea is planned to be held in November 2018 in Baku, Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov said in an interview with RIA Novosti.

"In order to effectively implement the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea and review cooperation on the Caspian Sea, the heads of state at the Summit in Aktau decided to establish a working group at the level of deputy foreign ministers - plenipotentiaries of the Caspian states. There are plans to hold the first meeting of this group in Baku in November 2018," Mammadyarov said.

The minister also noted that the heads of state instructed to begin coordinating a five-sided agreement on the method of establishing direct baselines in the Caspian Sea to determine the territorial waters of coastal countries.

This issue will be the main agenda in the new stage of negotiations in a five-sided format, Mammadyarov added.

He underlined that signing the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea was a truly historic event, marking the goodwill of the five coastal states.

"The main significance of this document for Azerbaijan is that it defines the sovereign and exclusive rights of coastal states to use the rich natural resources of the sea. Thus, the Convention ensures the consistency and safety of various projects in the oil and gas industry, as well as the implementation of other economic activities at sea," the minister said.

In addition, Mammadyarov noted the Convention determines territorial waters and fishing zones, which are subject to sovereignty and exclusive rights of coastal states.

"The freedom and safety of navigation is ensured, which plays an exceptional role in the development of trade in the Caspian Sea and the economies of our countries," he added.

"Regarding ratification, we hope the signatory countries will be able to carry out the necessary domestic procedures in the near future," Mammadyarov said.

On Aug. 12, the heads of five Caspian states signed the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea at the 5th Summit of the Heads of Caspian States in Aktau - a historic document for the region, work on which has been carried out for two decades, since 1996.

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Follow the author on Twitter: @Lyaman_Zeyn

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