Ashgabat, Turkmenistan, April 2
By Huseyn Hasanov- Trend:
Ashgabat is hosting the 36th meeting of the special working group on working out the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea at the level of foreign ministers of the Caspian Sea countries, Turkmenistan's media outlets reported on April 2.
Representatives of the Caspian Sea countries paid attention to the fact that the process of determining the legal status of the Caspian Sea, which has a long history, has entered into an active phase, Turkmen Dovlet khabarlary (TDH) state news service reported.
Delegations from Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are participating at the event.
"The participants expressed hope that the participant countries will work out the optimal ways of resolving the Caspian Sea issue in order to preserve the unique natural reservoir, the rational development of its rich resources, by firmly cementing the status of the Caspian Sea as a sea of peace and harmony," TDH said.
The agenda includes the issues related to preparations to the next summit of Caspian Sea countries' heads which is planned to be held in the first half of 2014 in Astrakhan, according to TDH.
The participants of the Ashgabat meeting are exchanging views on finding mutually acceptable solutions to conceptual provisions of the draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, Turkmenistan-4 national TV channel reported.
The determination of the legal status of the Caspian Sea, establishment of a concerted international cooperation are among the topical issues of the modern world and they should be resolved only on the basis of consensus, necessarily taking into account the views of each of the five sides, Neutral Turkmenistan newspaper said on its comment.
It was earlier reported that there have already been signed significant five-sided documents such as the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea and the agreement on cooperation in the security sphere.
Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on the delimitation of the northern part of the Caspian Sea in July 1998 in order to exercise sovereign rights for subsoil use. They signed a protocol to this agreement in May 2002. Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan signed agreements on the delimitation of the Caspian Sea on Nov. 29, 2001 and a protocol to it on Feb. 27, 2003.
Additionally, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia signed an agreement on the delimitation of adjacent sections of the Caspian Sea on May 14, 2003.
The convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea is designed to create a legal basis for the long-term international cooperation, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov earlier said.
Turkmenistan ranks fourth among the largest natural gas reserves in the world. It is one of the key players in the energy market in the Caspian region and Central Asia.
Ashgabat adheres to a policy of diversification of gas supplies to the world markets. It considers the pipeline route to Europe via the Caspian Sea and Azerbaijan as one of the most attractive ones. The Turkmen side expressed its readiness to conduct the appropriate environmental impact assessment with the participation of international experts to implement this project.
Translated by L.Z.
Edited by C.N.