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Iran opposed to unilateral decisions on Caspian Sea: FM

Source: Mehr News Agency, Tehran'

Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has stated that Iran is opposed to any unilateral decisions regarding the Caspian Sea which would not serve the interests of all littoral states.

Mottaki made the remarks at the opening ceremony of the 27th meeting on the formulation of a convention on the Caspian Sea legal regime in Tehran on Tuesday.

"Iran stresses the importance of observing the principle of reaching consensus about all decisions on the Caspian Sea and avoiding unilateral actions which go against the interests of other states," the foreign minister explained.

Iran approves of giving each littoral state a fair and proportionate share of the sea and believes this procedure, which is in conformity with the international law, can secure the lasting peace and stability in the region, he opined.

Mottaki also expressed hope that the Caspian Sea littoral states can reach a full agreement on the legal regime of the sea in the near future.

"A review of the developments and the relationship among the Caspian Sea littoral states shows a rise in the level of cooperation among these countries," he noted.

"Fortunately, many provisions of the draft of the convention (on Caspian Sea legal regime) have been agreed. We are hopeful that we can reach a comprehensive agreement on the legal regime... through a continuation of constructive negotiations and mutual understating and based on the existing legal frameworks including treaties signed by the former Soviet Union and Iran in 1921 and 1940," the chief diplomat stated.

He added the security of commercial ships, an avoidance of political and military competition in the sea, environment protection, and a sustainable exploitation of the resources are the principles that should be taken into consideration in formulating the legal regime of the sea.

The minister also emphasized that Iran favors expansion of relations among the Caspian Sea states and a friendly settlement of sea's legal regime.

Mottaki also pointed to the Caspian Sea summit in December in Baku, saying the summit indicates that the littoral states are determined to utilize all the existing capacities to expand their friendly ties.

Mohammad Mehdi Akhundzadeh, The Iranian president's special envoy for Caspian Sea affairs, told the Mehr News Agency on Monday that any decision on the Caspian Sea legal regime without Iran's consent would be unacceptable.

On October 8, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said that the Caspian Sea states have reached a consensus on over 70 percent of the legal regime of the sea and expressed hope that the remaining issues would be resolved in the next meeting.

... Payvand News - 11/09/10 ... --

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