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Iran alarmed of exclusion in Caspian sea summit

Source: PressTV

Iran's Foreign Minister, Manouchehr Mottaki has warned against the implications of an informal summit between Iran's northern neighbors along the Caspian Sea.

The Presidents of the Central Asian States of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan are to meet their Russian counterpart on Thursday to discuss "sub-regional cooperation."

According to the country's Foreign Ministry, the meeting in the western Kazakh city of Aktau "will not consider the issues on the status of the Caspian Sea and division of the seabed."

However, Mottaki reacted strongly to the meeting saying that "The summit is against previous agreements, in which the five Caspian littoral states came to the understanding that any decision on the waterway should be made with the participation of all its neighboring countries." He made the comment in a meeting with Astana's new ambassador to Tehran.

"In our view the meeting runs contrary to Iran's national interests," he added.

The maritime and seabed boundaries of the Caspian have yet to be demarcated among Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Turkmenistan, the five countries bordering the Sea.

The status of the oil and gas rich inland sea has been a source of disagreement between the counties since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The Caspian Sea is estimated to contain between 17 billion and 33 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.

... Payvand News - 09/09/09 ... --

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