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04/24/13

Iran calls on littoral states to honor Caspian Sea legal regime

Source: Tehran Times

The Iranian foreign minister has called on the littoral states of the Caspian Sea to honor the legal regime of the sea.

In his address to the 32th meeting of the working group on the Caspian Sea that opened in Tehran on Tuesday, Ali Akbar Salehi said that the littoral states have agreed to settle the issues surrounding the sea and expand regional cooperation.

Caspian Sea States

The special envoys and deputy foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan have attended the 32th meeting of the working group in Tehran.

The Caspian neighbors intend to set up the principles of activities in the sea, determine the rights and duties, and regulate activities in various areas including issues concerning the seabed, the top diplomat noted. Fortunately the littoral states have agreed upon the principles of the legal regime, though the implementation methods have not been formulated yet, Salehi added.

"I hope that the establishment of the legal regime of the Caspian Sea, which includes the general principles of activities and explains the rights and duties of the littoral states, be finalized sooner," Salehi said, adding that the expansion of cooperation between the littoral states can help promote economic development.

He went on to say that the Islamic Republic of Iran believes in settling the Caspian Sea issues including its fragile environment through dialogue, mutual respect and the expansion of ties.

The Iranian official also suggested that the exclusive areas of operation for each state be determined based on the internationally recognized legal standards so that each country can make use of energy resources under the seabed.

He also cautioned that the interference of extra-regional countries in the Caspian Sea issues can simply create new challenges and complicate the matters.

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