Iran ready to facilitate transfer of cheap oil, gas to Caspian states: FM

Iran Materials 20 June 2007 17:34 (UTC +04:00)

( Irna ) - Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki here Wednesday voiced Iran's readiness to help facilitate transfer of cheap oil and gas to the Caspian Sea littoral states.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of a day-long meeting of foreign ministers of the Caspian Sea littoral states, he referred to the level of Caspian states cooperation in the area of energy as "not desirable".

Referring to Iran's strategic location as unique, he stressed that Iran can act as a golden gateway for transfer of the Caspian Sea energy to the Persian Gulf, the Caucasus, the Mideast and East Asia.

By signing long-term agreements on purchase of the Caspian oil and gas, the Islamic Republic of Iran can meet regional demand, Mottaki added.

Elsewhere in his speech, the Iranian foreign minister referred to discussions held among the Caspian Sea littoral states in the past few years, stressing that the meetings had very positive and fruitful outcome.

Such efforts by all the five Caspian states resulted in creation of a very bright prospect for regional cooperation, he said, expressing hope that the remaining issues would be resolved soon.

Although the Caspian Sea is the main axis for communications among the five littoral states -- Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan --, Tehran believes that the great potentials of the sea have not yet been properly used to bolster political, economic and cultural relations between the regional governments and nations, Mottaki noted.

He reiterated that the Caspian Sea issues should be resolved peacefully and through consensus by the littoral states.

Tehran invites all the Caspian Sea littoral states to turn the sea into a sea of friendship by adopting joint efforts and taking long-term issues into consideration, Mottaki concluded.