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Caspian Sea Legal regime should meet demands of littoral states: Iranian FM

Source: Islamic Republic News Agency

Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that the Caspian Sea Legal regime must be drawn up in a way to meet demands and expectations of the present and future generations of the Sea littoral states. Zarif made the remarks in a meeting with the Caspian Sea foreign ministers in Moscow.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad-Javad Zarif

The Caspian Sea Littoral States Foreign Ministers Conference opened in Moscow on Tuesday. Participants in the meeting will make preparations for the 4th Caspian Sea littoral states summit, which will be held in Russia this fall.

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

Caspian Sea Foreign Ministers

The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water by area, and is variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea.

In his address to his counterparts, Iranian foreign ministers Zarif said that Iran believes that all should opt for a comprehensive policy to meet the long-term interests of all the neighboring states.

The legal regime should meet demands as well as expectations of all littoral states, he said.

Unfortunately, some trans-regional powers see the Caspian Sea as the oil and gas resources and ignore the issue of environment as well as the need to preserve sustainable peace and stability in the region, he said.

Zarif said that the Islamic Republic of Iran believes in the Caspian Sea to be the Sea of peace and friendship and stability.

He called on the neighboring states to renounce arms race and militarization of the Caspian Sea to guarantee peace and stability in the Caspian region.

Such security will bring economic boom and welfare for the people of the region, he said.

Fortunately, all sides have signed MoU on security of the Caspian Sea and all are eager to reach agreement on expansion of military cooperation among Caspian Sea littoral states, he said.

The political leaders of the five Caspian Sea are determined to safeguard the Sea as Sea of peace and friendship, development, mutual cooperation as well as good neighborly relations, he said.

Zarif said that the Caspian Sea littoral states have undertaken to observe previously inked agreements 1921 and 1940 by the time the new Caspian Sea Legal regime to be implemented.

The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea. The sea has a surface area of 371,000 km2 and a volume of 78,200 km3. It is in an endorheic basin (it has no outflows) and is bounded to the north by Russia, to the south by Iran, western Azerbaijan, and eastern Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Talks on safeguarding the environment of the Caspian Sea and taking measures by the neighboring states to thwart degradation of environment of the Caspian Sea and protecting the ecosystem of the marine creatures will continue, he said.

The Islamic Republic of Iran voices readiness to finalize the Legal Regime of the Caspian Sea and be accepted unanimously by the littoral states, he said.

Caspian Sea Foreign Ministers

Meanwhile, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said heads of Caspian Sea littoral states pay due attention to promotion of welfare and friendship among the nations.

Political relations between Caspian Sea littoral states are promoting and all are experiencing expansion of commercial and culture ties, he said.

Iran's foreign minister heading a delegation represent the Islamic Republic of Iran to the foreign ministers meeting of the Caspian Sea littoral states in Moscow.

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