Baku – APA. Baku attaches particular importance to the agreements on the delimitation of the Caspian seabed among Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia, said Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov.
He made the remarks at a meeting of foreign ministers of the Caspian littoral countries in Astana, Kazakhstan, July 13.
"I’m confident that this meeting will be an opportunity for even greater convergence and achieving the necessary results,” he said.
Mammadyarov said great work has been done in the negotiation process to coordinate the provisions of the draft convention on the Caspian Sea’s legal status.
“The political decisions and agreements reached during the summits of heads of the Caspian states have contributed to the efficiency of further negotiations on the draft convention as a whole,” he said.
The FM pointed to the fruitful work done by the special working group at the level of deputy foreign ministers and their efforts to achieve a consensus on many fundamental provisions.
According to him, in order to improve the legal framework for the cooperation of the Caspian states, a number of sectoral draft agreements in trade, economic, transport and logistics, and environmental fields, as well as on security matters have been submitted.
Azerbaijan takes an active part in the discussion and coordination of these draft agreements and considers it premature to discuss the draft documents, the provisions of which might predetermine the Caspian Sea’s legal status before the adoption of the Convention, Mammadyarov noted.
Azerbaijan’s foreign minister said it is necessary to reach agreements on all the uncoordinated provisions of the draft convention before the next summit of the heads of the Caspian states.
“However, it is also necessary to make every effort to accelerate the coordination of the draft convention’s provisions that constitute an important basis for determining the legal status of the Caspian Sea,” he said.
“I’d like to express the hope that all the issues related to the right of landlocked Caspian states to free access from the Caspian Sea to other seas and oceans, the right of passage of warships of the parties through zones under national sovereignty, as well as the issues of the delimitation of the seabed and subsoil of the Caspian Sea, and the laying of cables and pipelines will be solved in accordance with international maritime law,” said Mammadyarov.
He also called for consensus on the methodology for determining baselines on the basis of generally accepted international practices, in accordance with applicable international principles and norms.
The minister said that the Caspian Sea is an important part of many international and regional projects aimed at the economic development and welfare of the peoples of the Caspian region countries and the global energy security.
According to him, issues related to the strengthening of international cooperation, further improvement of the investment climate for the development of energy resources and their transportation to international markets, the creation of secure and reliable communications, and the involvement of highly profitable and environmentally friendly technologies remain as priorities of the Caspian littoral states.
Azerbaijan is sure that all issues of the Caspian Sea’s legal status must be resolved in a spirit of respect for the sovereign rights of the Caspian-littoral countries and mutually beneficial partnership, as well as by strengthening trust among the sides, in particular, in regional stability, security, economic and scientific-research activity in the Caspian Sea, emphasized the FM.
Mammadyarov also pointed to the necessity of strengthening trust among the sides, particularly in such issues as regional stability, security, economic, scientific and research activity in the Caspian Sea, in order to resolve the Caspian Sea’s legal status issues.
“Confidence building measures must also ensure equal security conditions for all the Caspian littoral countries,” he said.
“We are also sure that strengthening of stability in the Caspian Sea must be done taking into account the interests of all sides and causing no damage to the security of each other, respecting the sovereignty, territorial integrity, independence of the Caspian countries and not interfering in the internal affairs of each other,” he added.
He said that the early signing of the Convention on the Caspian Sea’s legal status will lead to more effective measures towards further collaboration and cooperation of the Caspian states in various areas, including the conservation of the Caspian ecosystem.
Mammadyarov went on to say that the sixth Conference of the Parties of Framework Convention for Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea is planned to be held in Baku.
He said that establishing a permanent secretariat of the Framework Convention will be one of the main goals of the conference.
The foreign minister added that the Azerbaijani side has prepared a draft agreement on establishing the secretariat in Baku and has submitted it to all the Caspian countries.