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Iran will not permit its Caspian Sea interests to be jeopardized

TEHRAN, Sept. 9 (Mehr News Agency) -- Iran will not allow its interests in the Caspian Sea to be jeopardized, the Islamic Republics representative for Caspian Sea talks said here on Wednesday.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs Mahdi Safari made the remarks in response to reports that the presidents of Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan plan to hold a meeting on the Caspian Sea in the city of Aktau in Kazakhstan on September 14.

"Any deal on the Caspian Sea must be reached with the participation and consensus of all littoral states," he insisted.

Iran, Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan all border the Caspian Sea.

Safari said that immediately after Iran learned about the meeting, the ambassadors of the four countries were summoned to the Foreign Ministry.

Iran informed the four ambassadors of its concerns, Safari told reporters.

He also said Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki contacted his counterparts in the four countries to warn them about the issue.

In a meeting with the new Kazakh ambassador to Tehran on Tuesday, Mottaki said Tehran will regard any deal on the sea concluded without the participation of Iran as invalid.

However, after some investigations, it became clear that the summit is being held to inaugurate infrastructure projects and to hold some ceremonies and sports competitions, Safari said.

In his meeting with the Kazakh ambassador, Mottaki said, "We consider the meeting of the four Caspian Sea littoral states to be against our interests."

"All issues related to the Caspian Sea should be discussed and decided with the participation of all its littoral states," he added.

Such a meeting would violate the agreements reached by the five Caspian Sea littoral states, Mottaki said.

... Payvand News - 09/10/09 ... --

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