Littoral states move toward agreement on legal status of Caspian Sea

ASTANA (TCA) — Last week, Kazakhstan’s capital Astana hosted the 51st meeting of the Special Working Group on the development of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea at the level of deputy foreign ministers of the Caspian littoral states (SWG), the Kazakh Foreign Ministry reported.

The delegations of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Turkmenistan participated in the negotiations.

The meeting, which was devoted to the preparation for the Fifth Caspian Summit, scheduled to be held this year in Kazakhstan, was opened by the statement of Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan, Kairat Abdrakhmanov.

The participants of the SWG meeting agreed on the provisional agenda and the draft political outcome document of the forthcoming Summit, as well as discussed progress in the coordination of draft five-sided sectoral documents and preparation for their signing at the Fifth Caspian Summit, along with the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea.

The parties completed negotiations on the following drafts of five-sided documents: the Agreement between the Governments of the Caspian Littoral States on Transport Cooperation, the Agreement between the Governments of the Caspian Littoral States on Trade and Economic Cooperation, the Agreement on Prevention of Incidents in the Caspian Sea, the Protocol on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism in the Caspian Sea, the Protocol on Cooperation in Combating Organized Crime in the Caspian Sea, the Protocol on Cooperation and Interaction of Border Agencies to the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Security in the Caspian Sea.

The participants welcomed the proposal to hold the extraordinary session of the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea this July in Moscow, as well as the intention to adopt and sign the Protocol on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context to the said Convention within the framework of this session.

The next meeting of the Special Working Group will take place in Kazakhstan.

Sergey Kwan

TCA