By Nigar Orujova
The next meeting of the Working Group on the legal status of the Caspian Sea is scheduled for early September in Moscow, Iran's special envoy for Caspian affairs, Ibrahim Rahimpur told Trend.
Rahimpur said the meeting would discuss the issues on the legal status of the Caspian Sea still uncoordinated by the littoral states.
The five coastal states, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, and Iran, signed a framework convention on the protection of the marine environment of the Caspian Sea in November 2003. The littoral states cannot come on a single agreement on the legal status of the Caspian Sea for more than 20 years.
At present, the Caspian countries agreed on a number of issues, the envoy noted.
The security of the Caspian Sea is fully ensured, and all five littoral states have the opportunity to use its biological resources, he added.
Nevertheless, there are still issues that need to be discussed, he clarified, adding that the discussions will last as long as the parties make an agreement.
There are two possible solutions to the issue on the legal status of the Caspian Sea: delimitation using a midline modified method or division into five equal parts of 20 percent share.
Baku supports defining the Caspian Sea's legal status based on the sovereign rights of the littoral states, a mutually beneficial partnership, and peaceful negotiations.
Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Russia signed an agreement on the delimitation of their respective Caspian maritime borders on May 14, 2003.
Azerbaijan, together with Kazakhstan and Russia, agreed on the delimitation of the sea in early 2000. Turkmenistan and Iran, however, have not reached a consensus yet.
Once all Caspian states ratify the Agreement on Security Cooperation in the Caspian Sea, signed on November 18, 2010 in Baku, a new impetus will be given for close cooperation between the sides.
Significant progress has been achieved in drafting a convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea in September 2014. The convention possibly may be signed at the Kazakhstan summit this year.
Nigar Orujova is AzerNews’s staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @o_nigar
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