Envoy Sees Caspian Legal Regime by 2012-Kayhan

Envoy Sees Caspian Legal Regime by 2012

TEHRAN (Fars) — Iranian president’s special envoy for the Caspian affairs Muhammad Mehdi Akhoundzadeh has said that Tehran expects adoption of a legal regime for the world’s largest lake by early 2012.
“We hope that we can adopt the convention by the end of March 2012,” Akhoundzadeh told the Interfax news agency.
“Iran believes that the convention on the Caspian Sea status should be adopted by the end of March 2012 with consensus and the rights of the Caspian Sea littoral states should be defined (by the convention),” the Iranian diplomat said.
Akhoundzadeh further noted that the policies currently adopted by the five littoral states will facilitate the trend.
Last Monday, Iranian and Russian special envoys for the Caspian Sea affairs stressed the two countries’ key role in finalizing the legal regime for the Caspian Sea, and called for continued consultations over the issue.
The Caspian Sea and the recent decisions made by the five littoral states on the legal regime of the world’s largest lake was the main focus of a meeting between Akhoundzadeh and his Russian counterpart Alexander Golovin in Moscow.
Iran has underlined that all the littoral states should have a fair and just share of the Caspian Sea in a bid to guarantee durable peace and stability in the region.
Leaders of the five countries attending the third Caspian Sea Littoral States’ summit in Baku, Azerbaijan, on November 18 inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to boost security cooperation among their states.
The first summit was held in Ashkhabad, Turkmenistan and the second one in Tehran.
The MoU underlines that the Caspian Sea littoral states should help maintain security of shipping and navigation in the lake.
The 15-clause MoU endorsed by the Presidents of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia, Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan aims to bring more security to the region.
The statement also urged expansion of political, cultural, economic, technical and humanitarian cooperation among the littoral states.
It also underlined the need for paying more attention to the protection of the Caspian Sea environment and it was agreed that these littoral states should spare no effort to protect the sea.
The previous summit which was held in Tehran studied non-militarization of the sea, non-employment of the waterway for threats to other countries, share of economic activities of the countries and non-presence of other countries in military drills.
The status of the oil and gas rich inland sea has been a source of disagreement among the littoral states since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The Caspian Sea is estimated to contain between 17bln and 33bln barrels of proven oil reserves.

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