By Rashid Shirinov
Ministers of the Caspian littoral states agreed on the draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, Russian Foreign Ministry informed on March 2.
"The 50th meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group on drafting of the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea, dedicated to the implementation of the decisions made at the meeting of foreign ministers of the Caspian states, was held in Moscow," the message says.
Delegations of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan attended the meeting. Finance Minister Samir Sharifov headed the Azerbaijani delegation.
Following the meeting, the draft convention was agreed upon and the texts of the draft convention were checked in Russian, Farsi and English in order to prepare it for signing during the forthcoming 5th Caspian Summit.
The next meeting of the Ad Hoc Working Group will be held in Kazakhstan.
The issue of determining the legal status of the Caspian Sea became relevant after the collapse of the USSR, when the emergence of new subjects of international law - Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan - raised the issue of delimitation of the Caspian Sea between the five littoral countries.
The difficulties in determining the status of the Caspian Sea were linked, in particular, with the recognition of it as a lake or sea, the delineation of which is regulated by different provisions of international law.
The leaders of the five countries met for the first time in 2002 in Ashgabat. The second Caspian summit was held in Tehran in 2007, the third one in Baku in 2010, and the fourth summit – in Astrakhan in 2014.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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