Turkmenbashi hosts discussion on Caspian Sea Shipping Association project (UPDATE)
Details added after the fourth paragraph (the first version was posted at 08:41)
Turkmenistan , Ashgabat, Sept.23 /Trend, H.Hasanov/
The third meeting by heads of the Caspian state seaport administration got underway in Turkmenbashi on Sept. 22-23, Turkmen media outlets reported on Friday.
The Caspian littoral states are Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Iran and Turkmenistan.
The meeting is attended by representatives of the inter-regional TRACECA program on the development of the international transport corridor Europe-Caucasus-Asia, implemented with the assistance of the EU .
"An exchange of views was made on the project establishing the Caspian Sea Shipping Association , designed to help increase the volume of mutual trade turnover between the neighboring countries and to transit goods passing through their ports, attracting private investment," the Turkmen Dovlet khabarlary news service reported.
Following the meeting, a protocol will be signed which will be intended to reflect agreements achieved in the development of shipping and port infrastructure.
The agenda includes cooperation in shipping, sea freight transportation, ensuring navigation safety, and the ecological well-being of the Caspian Sea. In addition, the question is about building potential and enhancing the international rating of Caspian Sea ports, including upgrading infrastructure, technical re-equipment, and introducing advanced technologies to the transport ship service.
The meeting focused on problems of cooperation in ensuring navigation safety, shipping, and measures aimed at preventing emergencies in the Caspian Sea basin.
As national TV channel Altyn Asyr reported, the meeting also discussed projects dealing with a number of documents which aim at further legally regulating Caspian Sea activity. The documents include Memorandums of Understanding on Control and Inspection, search and rescue at sea, combating oil pollution at sea, safety, and firefighting. The need to conduct joint exercises with the participation of specialists from all the littoral countries in rescue operations was also stressed.
As the meeting's participants said in their speeches, "thanks to the special geographical position and rich natural resources, the rapidly developing Caspian Sea region is today among the most important geopolitical and economic centers of the Eurasian space."