Caspian region vital for energy security: Azerbaijani official
Turkmenistan, Ashgabat, Nov. 4 / Trend , H.Hasanov/
The Caspian region is vital in terms of energy security, Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov said in Ashgabat today.
Ashgabat is hosting a working group meeting on the Caspian Sea's legal status. The meeting is attended by representatives from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Iran and Turkmenistan.
"The Caspian region is important in terms of energy security, developing international cooperation in the energy, transport and communications sectors, as well as forging economic ties among regional states, especially Caspian littoral countries," Khalafov said.
The EU considers Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan to be potential suppliers for the Nabucco gas pipeline project. However, experts believe Ashgabat may stall the project due to differences of opinion between the two Turkic-speaking countries on several Caspian oil and gas fields.
Khalafov stressed that Azerbaijan remains "committed to the negotiation process in the spirit of mutual respect to the sovereign rights of the littoral states, as well as the resolution of all issues via 'diplomatic means.'"
Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov has recently said "diplomatic resources have not been exhausted," and many options exist for compromise.
According to the Turkmen leader, the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea should be developed to create "conditions for productive international cooperation in the Caspian Sea."
A source close to the talks said Khalafov believes the investment climate is developing in the region and economic cooperation is also deepening among the littoral states.