Marat Tazhin, the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan, states the necessity of considering the viewpoint of countries which could host the pipelines to be built via the Caspian Sea grounds. "The definition of a route for the construction of sub-sea pipelines should be carried out through the agreement with countries which will host these pipelines, Tazhin stressed in a meeting of foreign ministers of the Caspian littoral countries held in Tehran on 20 June, Trend reports citing Interfax.
Tazhin said that Kazakhstan is prepared to detail its consideration of proposals by Iranian and Russian sides on the necessity of holding an ecological examination of such projects by all Caspian littoral countries. With respect to the delimitation of the Caspian Sea ground the Minister stressed that the principles indicated in the agreement between Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia, who share the northern part of the Caspian Sea through concluding bilateral agreements, might be a good basis for further development of talks in this direction.
"We hope that other Caspian countries will also follow our example, which would finally enable a resolution to the issue on the distribution of the Caspian Sea ground with respect to sovereign rights of exploitation of natural wealth," Tazhin noted. At the same time, the Kazakh Foreign Minister thinks it necessary to ensure the right of intercontinental Caspian littoral countries on free transit by all transport means and access to other seas. "The future convention on the Caspian legal status will reflect a right of the intercontinental Caspian countries on free transit by all transport means and access to other seas and the universal ocean, specified in some universal international agreements," the Minister stressed.
He also reminded that during the previous meeting of the foreign ministers in Moscow on April 2004, Kazakhstan came out with an initiative on establishment of five-lateral mechanisms for control over arms in the Caspian Sea, establishment of a stable balance of arms and definition of their qualitative and quantity limits. "These measures should become another means for ensuring the region's security. We hope this initiative will shortly become official," Tazhin emphasized.
He also added that it is necessary to put forward for discussion an issue on delimitation of the water area of the Caspian Sea and the definition of width and regime of appropriate zones, principles of military activities in the sea, transit of inner-continental countries, conditions of construction of sub-sea pipelines, as well as a problem of fair distribution of quotas for production of biological resources of the Caspian at the forthcoming meeting of the heads of Caspian littoral countries.
"We are prepared to discuss proposals from partners on negotiations and will put every effort forward in achieving an agreement on all aspects of Caspian diplomacy," Tazhin added.