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5/17/03

Iran declares tripartite accord on Caspian Sea 'invalid'

The Caspian Sea needs a five-nation agreement and tripartite accord announced by Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia lacks validity, Iranian special envoy on the Caspian Sea Mehdi Safari said on Saturday, IRNA reported from Tehran.

He told IRNA that the ninth meeting of the working group from the five littoral states held in Almaty focused on drafting a convention on the Caspian Sea so that the latest accord made by the three states is null and void.

He said that following the Summit of leaders of the Caspian Sea states, the working group has focused on a draft convention relating to legal issues, the procedure for exploitation of oil and gas resources, shipping, scientific and research activities, fishing, environment protection and security issues.

Safari said that Russia wants to maintain a navy in the Caspian Sea, while, the other countries are lobbying for demilitarization of the Sea, so it has become an odd issue in the context of the draft convention on the Caspian Sea.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran is keen on the Caspian Sea remaining a 'demilitarized zone' and calls for coordination among the five states to protect the environment of the Caspian Sea and avoid any action which may target the interests of other neighboring states," Safari said.

He said that any partial agreement on the Caspian Sea is not practical and such a methodology may further complicate the matter.

... Payvand News - 5/17/03 ... --



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