Ministerial meeting of 'Caspian Five' to be foundation for 5th Caspian Summit

Ministerial meeting of 'Caspian Five' to be foundation for 5th Caspian Summit

Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Iran should have a reliable legal foundation at the 5th Caspian Summit, which will make it possible to reach a higher level of interaction, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said before the start of the ministerial meeting of the 'Caspian Five' in Moscow, the correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza reports.

As the Russian minister noted, it's already the 7th ministerial meeting. "We are pleased with the interaction between the five Caspian states - which is held an open, equitable, mutually respecting basis. We discuss all the emerging issues, jointly consider possible options. Various dialogue systems have been created that help maintain an atmosphere of good-neighborliness and mutual respect. As I have already said, ministerial meetings, summits are regular. Especially I want to note the activities of the ad hoc working group on the elaboration of the the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea at the level of our deputies. The intergovernmental commission for the conservation and rational use of aquatic biological resources also works," Sergei Lavrov said.

"We welcome efforts by our countries’ regions that have maritime boundaries with the Caspian Sea to expand direct contacts and we attach great importance to the dialogue between the defense, legal agencies and rescue services. We also look forward to improving the effectiveness of joint environmental activities," the Russian Foreign Minister added.

"We proceed from the premise that the line under the talks on this document will be drawn at the next, fifth Caspian summit in Kazakhstan, and the ‘Caspian Five’ will receive a reliable legal foundation, which will make it possible to reach a higher level of interaction," Lavrov concluded.

"I hope that this meeting will be a good opportunity to consider the variants of the text of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea. In general, I can say that over the past period,  a great deal of work has been made on this Convention, the decisions and agreements reached during bilateral meetings contributed to the rapprochement of the positions of the Caspian states, and also gave a powerful impetus to the negotiation process as a whole," Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan Elmar Mammadyarov said before the meeting.

"All this is of key importance for further strengthening of good-neighborly relations, fruitful cooperation and maintaining stability in the Caspian Sea. All Caspian states are unanimous in the opinion that it is necessary to exert maximum efforts to hold an effective summit in Kazakhstan," Mammadyarov added.

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