By Rashid Shirinov
Preparations are underway for the summit of heads of the Caspian states, Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Khalaf Khalafov told reporters on December 12.
He said the legal status of the Caspian Sea is discussed regularly and the next meeting is scheduled for early January in Ashgabat.
The Deputy Minister noted that the main issues of the meeting are associated with the preparation for the next Caspian summit.
“There are also such plans that the working group would propose holding a meeting of ministers, and this meeting would be organized. All these measures are directed for adoption of the draft Convention on the legal status of the Caspian sea at the summit,” Khalafov said.
He added that, presumably, the negotiations on the date of the summit will be held later, and the meeting of ministers, probably, will be held in Astana.
The Caspian states - Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Iran - signed a Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea in November 2003.
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 July 1998. The two countries signed a protocol to the agreement in May 2002.
Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan signed an agreement on the delimitation of the Caspian Sea and a protocol to it on Nov. 29, 2001 and Feb. 27, 2003, respectively.
Additionally, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia signed an agreement on the delimitation of adjacent sections of the Caspian Sea on May 14, 2003.
So far, the summits of heads of the Caspian states were held in 2002 in Ashgabat, in 2007 – Tehran, 2010 – Baku, and in 2014 in Astrakhan.
Rashid Shirinov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @RashidShirinov
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