Baku, Azerbaijan, May 21
By Umid Niayesh - Trend:
Kazakh president Nursultan Nazarbayev has said that Iran and Kazakhstan have similar viewpoints towards the legal status of Caspian Sea.
"Differences on the issue should be resolved through dialogue within the legal and expertise framework among the littoral states," Nazarbayev said, Iran's IRIB news agency reported on May 21.
Nazarbayev made the remarks during a meeting with Iranian president Hassan Rouhani on the sidelines of the 4th Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai, China.
The two presidents discussed bilateral ties as well as regional issues and exchanged views on major international developments.
Rouhani in his turn called for boosting mutual economic ties and cooperation in the Caspian Sea.
The issue of the Caspian Sea's legal regime has gained importance following the breakup of the USSR and the emergence of newly independent states.
In the past 20 years the littoral states (Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Iran) have been negotiating on a legal regime for the Caspian Sea without any results.
The Caspian Sea littoral states signed a Framework Convention for the Protection of Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea in November 2003.
In July 1998, Russia and Kazakhstan signed an agreement on the delimitation of the northern part of the Caspian Sea in order to exercise sovereign rights for subsoil use.
In May 2002 they signed a protocol to this agreement. On Nov. 29, 2001 and Feb. 27, 2003, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan signed agreements on the delimitation of the Caspian Sea.
Additionally, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia signed an agreement on the delimitation of adjacent sections of the Caspian Sea on May 14, 2003.