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Tehran to host Summit of Caspian Sea littoral states

Ashkhabad, April 23, IRNA - Tehran will host the Summit of Caspian Sea littoral states soon, the deputy foreign minister for Asia, Pacific and Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) said on Monday.

Mehdi Safari made the remarks in an interview with IRNA, adding that before holding the summit, Iran will host another conference at ministerial level of the countries.

He said that three expert meetings held in Tehran have drafted a statement which needs confirmation of the foreign ministers.

Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan are the littoral states of the Caspian Sea.

The deputy minister, who is in Ashkhabad, capital of Turkmenistan, to take part in the 21st Expert Meeting of the Caspian Sea littoral states, said that friendly atmosphere prevailed over the first day of the event in which the countries indicated their resolve to come to terms on the remaining issues of the Caspian Sea.

"There are essential differences on the Caspian Sea Convention including security, military, disciplinary, shipping, the presence of of third parties and transition of oil pipeline dubbed 'Trans- Caspian'," he added.

Iran's special envoy on Caspian Sea affairs also said that Russia and Iran have objection to the pipeline because of its hazards to the environment and ecosystem.

Iran believes that the five littoral states of Caspian Sea should reach consensus for implementation the project, he noted.

"The legal status of the Caspian Sea should administer all issues related to sharing resources of sea-bed and under sea-bed, shipping, security, and clarify status of military presence, fishing and protection of environment," he said.

The first meeting of the convention was attributed to environment, and implementation of the programs to protect environment of the landlocked sea.

The member states will hold the first meeting of Convention on the Caspian Sea in Baku, Azerbaijan, in May.

... Payvand News - 4/24/07 ... --

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