Much work has been done on the coordination of the draft convention on the Caspian Sea’s legal status, as well as the cooperation of the Caspian littoral states in various spheres, said Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov.
“The full approval of the draft convention will create the preconditions for determining the status of the sea at the level of heads of state,” Khalafov said addressing the 48th meeting of the Ad Hoc working group on the Caspian Sea’s legal status.
He added that Azerbaijan hopes for the speedy delimitation of the Caspian Sea and proceeds from the agreements reached among Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia.
"A mechanism will be created for effective cooperation of the Caspian states as a result of rapid solving of existing issues,” Khalafov said. “In particular, it is necessary to agree on the aspects of the access of the Caspian countries to other seas and ocean, the right for passage of warships through the territorial waters of other countries and rules of laying cables and pipelines."
Khalafov added that Baku is interested in the speedy coordination of issues on the central and southern parts of the Caspian Sea.
"I hope that the issues to be discussed in Baku today as part of the negotiations in accordance with international maritime law, respect for the sovereign rights of the Caspian countries and for the sake of mutually beneficial cooperation, stability and security in the Caspian Sea, will be solved through building confidence," Khalafov said.
Khalafov added that the confidence-building measures among the sides must ensure the safety of all Caspian countries equally.
“The Caspian countries must contribute to the strengthening of stability in the Caspian region,” he said. “These measures must be based on the principles of respect for territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of the countries. The interests of all sides must be taken into account.”
"We must continue to work together to preserve the Caspian Sea as a zone of peace, tranquility, stability and security," he said.