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Iran calls for peaceful settlement of Caspian Sea issue

Iranian presidential envoy on Caspian Sea affairs Mehdi Safari, speaking in Moscow on Sunday, reiterated the need to solve the Caspian Sea issue and establish a legal regime on the basis of international laws, IRNA reported.

Safari's visit to Moscow is aimed at holding talks with Russian officials and companies as well as attending the 10th meeting of the Caspian Sea working group.

Concerning Iran's latest stance towards the Caspian Sea, he noted that it has proposed a technical formula based on international principles and laws, according to which it has the right to have access to 19.7-20.3 percent of the sea.

"The formula accords with international laws and has been applied to other seas and lakes around the world," he added.

Referring to his negotiations with the Russian partners on the Caspian issue in the past days, he hoped that a general agreement on a convention on legal status of the Caspian Sea will be reached.

He added that the convention will be the basis for any type of activity in the Caspian Sea and will specify the rights and tasks of the five littoral states.

"Any unilateral measure or bilateral and multilateral agreements will be legally authorized only if it is approved by all the littoral states," he noted.

The official said that exploitation of oil and gas resources, sustainable development of the region and free shipping are among Iran's proposals in the 10th Caspian Sea meeting.

Pointing to Iran's cooperation with other Caspian littoral states, he said that Iran has held serious mutual and multilateral talks with all the Caspian Sea littoral states.

"Recent negotiations were conducted with Turkmen, Azeri and Kyrgyz delegations in Tehran. The issue was also discussed with the Russian officials in Moscow in the past days," he said.

He noted that the working group on settlement of the Caspian Sea issue have held six meetings in the past 18 months as well as 10 bilateral and multilateral sessions.

Safari underlined the need to solve some of the existing differences through peaceful means and expedite the process of the Caspian Sea issue to facilitate investment and promotion of economic activities.

... Payvand News - 7/20/03 ... --

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