Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is in Kazakhstan today to join his counterparts from the Caspian Sea littoral states and sign a landmark treaty on the legal status of the Caspian. The development could be a prelude to resolving the persistent disagreements on how to use the geopolitically important maritime zone.
کد خبر: ۸۲۴۷۱۷
تاریخ انتشار: ۲۱ مرداد ۱۳۹۷ - ۱۵:۲۳ 12 August 2018

Tabnak – Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is in Kazakhstan today to join his counterparts from the Caspian Sea littoral states and sign a landmark treaty on the legal status of the Caspian. The development could be a prelude to resolving the persistent disagreements on how to use the geopolitically important maritime zone.

Before heading to the Kazakh city of Aktau, where the summit opened on Sunday, Rouhani highlighted the importance of the event which will put some of unresolved issues among the littoral states to rest.

Under the convention, all legal issues of the sea should be implemented with the consensus of the five littoral states, the president said, stressing that the agreement did not include dividing the waters.

"The convention stipulates that all legal issues of the Caspian Sea are operational and applicable only with the consensus of the five countries, which is very important and fundamental," he said.

"The convention completely prohibits the movement of foreign military ships in the sea, which is of great importance to the national security of the Caspian states," Rouhani added.

Rouhani also stated that the new draft agreement completely differentiates the legal regime of the Caspian Sea from the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

Also on the same issue, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says although the long-awaited convention on the legal regime of the Caspian Sea is settling a series of debates after 21 years, it starts a fresh round of talks on the outstanding issues and future agreements.

Speaking in Aktau on Saturday evening, Zarif hailed the “friendly and constructive” atmosphere in the Caspian talks, saying such gathering and the recent achievement of a protocol on Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) show a promising future for the Caspian nations.

Signing of the Caspian Sea legal regime convention ends 21 years of discussions, but it would not halt negotiations on the other issues, the Iranian minister noted, adding that it mark the beginning of negotiations to sign new agreements and implement the previous treaties.

He also expressed hope that the Caspian states would soon resolve the outstanding issues on demarcation of maritime boundaries, the seabed shares and clear delineation of sea depth.

Zarif finally pointed to the regulations on military presence and sea transportation in the Caspian Sea, saying the convention stipulates that vessel will be allowed to sail in the sea with the flag of only one of the five littoral states, namely Iran, Russia, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and the Republic of Azerbaijan.

The legal status of the largest inland body of water in the world with its abundance of hydrocarbon reserves has been the subject of fraught negotiations for over two decades since the Soviet Union's collapse.

There are an estimated 48 billion barrels of oil and 292 trillion cubic feet (8.3 trillion cubic meters) of natural gas in proven and probable reserves in the Caspian basins and its surrounding area.

The Caspian Sea is also the natural breeding ground for the best sturgeon species including the giant beluga fish from which one of the world's priciest delicacies, caviar, is extracted.

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