Summit of Caspian states opens in Astrakhan

Sep 29. Kazpravda

Summit of Caspian states opens in AstrakhanVladimir Putin expressed confidence that work of the Five at the summit will be fruitful.

In Astrakhan, IV Summit of Caspian littoral states has opened, Kazpravda.kz reports citing ITAR-TASS.

Opening the meeting in a narrow format, President Vladimir Putin called the Caspian region an oasis of peace and good neighborliness. The basis of this stability, he continued, is a careful and balanced approach of all the Caspian states to everything related to the Caspian Sea – whether it’s security, the economy or the environment.

“I am convinced that further expansion of cooperation between the five states will contribute to regional stability and fight against terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and other challenges and threats, and also give an additional impetus to the economic development of our countries, boost their competitiveness in world markets,” – Putin said.

The meeting, the Russian leader added, will result in a political statement, which should be “the cornerstone of the future baseline document – the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.”

The agenda of the summit is varied and applies not only to the Caspian legal regime, security and economy. The summit will also try the development of cooperation in transport, protection of the Caspian ecosystem; views will be exchanged on topical international issues, Putin added.

“The main thing is our commitment and interest to reach mutually acceptable agreements that would promote cooperation of the Caspian Five”- he said.

http://www.kazpravda.kz/en/news/view/27019

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Nazarbayev proposed to create free trade zone on the Caspian

Sep 29. Kazpravda

By Askhat Niyazov

This was proposed at the IV Caspian Summit in Astrakhan.

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed to the heads of the Caspian states to consider the creation of a free trade area of the Caspian, Kazpravda.kz reports with reference to the media.

“Given the situation in the world market, we can consider the possibility of convergence of our economies, involvement in mutual trade. Before the settlement of the Caspian legal status it is possible to lay the foundation for economic cooperation. I propose to establish the Caspian free trade area,” – he said at the summit.

In turn, Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes that the convention on the Caspian legal status will be adopted at the next summit of the five Caspian states, which will be held in Kazakhstan, ITAR-TASS reported.

“Ahead is finalization of the Convention on the Caspian legal regime. I am convinced that we can come to terms on the provisions that have not yet been agreed upon and adopt the convention at the next summit,” – the Russian leader said.

Vladimir Putin added that the narrow-format meeting had harmonized the political statement, which reflects the basic principles of the five-sided cooperation on the Caspian. According to him, they meet the long-term interests of all the five nations.

http://www.kazpravda.kz/en/news/view/27024

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Caspian Sea status convention to be adopted at next summit, Putin believes

Sep 29. Trend

Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that a convention on the Caspian Sea’s legal status will be adopted at the next summit of the Caspian littoral states (Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Azerbaijan), ITAR-TASS news agency reported Sept. 29.

Putin said that what is left is the finalization of development of a convention on the Caspian Sea’s legal regime.

“I am convinced that we are able to agree on the provisions that have not yet been agreed on, and adopt a convention at the next summit,” Putin said at the 4th Caspian Summit held in Astrakhan, Russia.

The next Caspian Summit will be held in Kazakhstan.

Putin said the Caspian littoral states’ heads agreed on a political statement, which, for the first time ever, defines the main principles of a five-sided cooperation on the Caspian Sea.

“The reached agreements meet long-term interests of all parties. I am grateful to our partners for willingness and ability to find the necessary and acceptable compromises,” Putin said.

Earlier, the Russian presidential aide Yury Ushakov said the mentioned statement is planned to reflect an agreement on delimitation of the water area.

He said two areas will be defined – the area of state sovereignty and the area with exclusive rights to fishing. The size of these two areas will be 25 nautical miles.

The issue of reference lines, which will serve to zoning, remains unresolved.

Iran, contradicting the rest of the Caspian countries, is offering to adopt the width formerly used as the Soviet-Iranian maritime boundary.

“It is very important that the draft statement includes a provision on preventing the presence of extra-regional countries’ armed forces in the Caspian Sea,” Ushakov had said.

http://en.trend.az/world/other/2316966.html

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Caspian countries agree on sovereignty over maritime space

Sep 29. Trend

Leaders of the five littoral states agreed on the principles of national sovereignty of each country over the coastal maritime space in the range of 15 miles and 10 “fishing” miles, said a policy statement adopted by the leaders of the Caspian Five, RIA Novosti reported.

“The activities of the parties on the Caspian Sea will be carried out on the basis of principles agreed by them, including national sovereignty of each side of the coastal maritime space within 15 nautical miles of the exclusive rights of each party for the production of aquatic biological resources within the adjacent 10 nautical miles, followed by the total water space, with the understanding that the issue of the application of techniques with establishment of baselines will be the subject of further consultations between the parties,” said the statement.

Leaders of the five Caspian littoral states agreed on the principles of the right for free access from the Caspian Sea to other seas and back on the basis of international law, taking into account the interests of the transit parties, said the statement adopted by the Presidents on the basis of the Caspian summit.

“The activities of the parties on the Caspian Sea will be carried out on the basis of agreed principles, including: the implementation of navigation on the Caspian Sea, the passage to/from it by vessels only under the flag of each of the parties, the rights for free access from the Caspian Sea to other seas, oceans and back on the basis of universally recognized norms and principles of international law and agreements of the parties concerned, taking into account legitimate interests of the parties of transit in order to promote international trade and economic development,” the document said.

The document also enshrines the principles of “delimitation of the seabed and subsoil of the Caspian Sea on the basis of universally recognized principles and norms of international law in order to implement the sovereign rights of the parties on the use of mineral resources and other legitimate economic and business activities related to the development of the seabed and subsoil resources by agreement of the parties.”

The IV Caspian summit opened today in Astrakhan, said a statement posted on the website of the President of Russia.

The summit brought together the heads of all Caspian littoral states – Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev, President of Russia Vladimir Putin, President of Iran Hassan Rouhani, President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, according to the statement.

http://en.trend.az/azerbaijan/politics/2317005.html

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Ilham Aliyev: Caspian Sea should remain as zone of peace, cooperation, good neighborliness

Sept. 29. Trend

Azerbaijan attaches great importance to the development of cooperation with its neighbors in the Caspian Sea in the military and military-technical area, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said at an expanded meeting within the fourth Caspian Summit in Astrakhan Sept. 29.

“We believe that the presence of the armed forces of the sides and military activity in the Caspian Sea must be based on the principle of equal security conditions for all Caspian-littoral countries,” he said.

“This will enhance mutual trust between the countries of the region. The Caspian Sea should remain a zone of peace, friendship, cooperation and good neighborliness,” said Ilham Aliyev.

“The third Caspian summit held in Baku in 2010 gave a new impetus to the negotiations on resolving the fundamental issues of the legal status of the Caspian Sea, especially regarding the common approaches of coordinating the width of the national zone and the protection of marine biological resources,” the president said. “An agreement on security cooperation in the Caspian Sea signed following the Baku summit has created an important mechanism for cooperation between border services and other state agencies in the fight against smuggling, poaching, illegal migration, human trafficking, organized crime and terrorism.”

“A lot of work has been conducted during this period to strengthen the legal framework for cooperation in the Caspian Sea,” President Aliyev said.

“The sides completed coordinating and proposed an agreement on cooperation in the field of prevention and liquidation of emergency situations in the Caspian Sea for signing. Strengthening of the cooperation of the Caspian countries in this area will serve to more efficient and safer activity in the Caspian Sea,” said the president. “I would like to emphasize the importance of bilateral relations on the delimitation of the Caspian Sea between the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Russian Federation, the Republic of Kazakhstan and the Russian Federation, as well as the tripartite agreement among Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia.”

“These agreements play an important role for comprehensive settlement of the legal status of the Caspian Sea,” the president said. “Azerbaijan believes that the principles set out in these agreements can be a good basis for reaching agreements on the Caspian Sea delimitation among all littoral countries.”

“We view the Caspian Sea as a sea of friendship, peace, security and cooperation,” he said.

“Azerbaijan pays special attention to the development of bilateral relations with the Caspian littoral countries, based on mutual respect and trust. Close friendly relations and multilevel cooperation among the Caspian littoral countries are the key to stability, prosperity and security in our region.”

The president said the deepening of trade and economic ties, improvement of investment climate for developing and delivering energy resources to international markets, the creation of safe and secure communications, and utilization of highly profitable and environmentally friendly technologies in the Caspian Sea region, are among priority activities.

“The Caspian Sea links many international and regional projects for development of transport corridors,” President Aliyev said, adding that Azerbaijan attaches great importance to cooperation with its neighbors on the Caspian in oil and gas sectors.

“Iranian and Russian companies are successfully participating as investors in the development of oil and gas resources in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea,” he said. “Azerbaijan also transits oil and oil products through its territory for companies from Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.”

The president said there are also good prospects in energy industry and transportation area within the trilateral cooperation of Azerbaijan, Iran and Russia.

He said that Azerbaijan commissioned a ferry terminal Sept. 22, 2014 as part of the first phase of construction of the new Baku International Sea Trade Port Complex.

President Aliyev said that in the first phase the port’s handling capacity will stand at 10 million metric tons and 50,000 containers per year, adding that upon completion of the third phase, which is to be implemented in two years, the capacity will increase to 25 million metric tons of cargo and one million containers.

“I would like to inform my colleagues that last year Azerbaijan put on stream a new shipyard, which meets the highest international standards and capable of producing all kinds of vessels,” the president said.

“The shipyard opens up additional opportunities for our countries to address economic problems in realization of projects in the transportation and communication sectors,” he said. “The modern logistics infrastructure, created by us, is a major contribution to our common cause, and it further deepens cooperation on the Caspian Sea.”

Azerbaijani president pointed out the agreement on conservation and rational use of biological resources of the Caspian Sea, which was agreed upon following the execution of the protocol decision of the Baku Summit.

“Azerbaijan attaches great importance to cooperation in the area of environment and shares the littoral states’ common concern over the current state of the Caspian environment,” the president said.

“We highly appreciate the common desire to cooperate more effectively and make our contribution to the work conducted as part of the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea.”

“Reaffirming the commitment to the consolidated decision, taken at the Baku Summit, we support the appropriate coordination of the national zone’s width on the basis of 25 nautical miles, which include water area covered by the coastal state’s sovereignty.”

President Aliyev said Azerbaijan believes that the general principle of using a median line as a fundamental norm for seabed delimitation is inviolable, and attaches great importance to navigation, open access and transit from the Caspian Sea to other seas.

In conclusion, Azerbaijani president thanked the Russian side for organizing the summit, which will serve to further rapprochement of the Caspian littoral states in fulfilling the future tasks.

President Aliyev also affirmed the commitment to addressing issues relating to all areas of cooperation, including the legal status of the Caspian Sea in accordance with the respect towards sovereign rights of the littoral states and mutually beneficial partnership.

http://en.trend.az/azerbaijan/politics/2316937.html

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Iranian Rouhani: Security in Caspian Sea can be guaranteed by avoiding arms race

Sept.29. Trend

By Dalga Khatinoglu

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani who is participating in the 4th summit of the Caspian Sea littoral states, said that the vulnerable environment of the Caspian Sea needs more attention.

He also added that the littoral states should do their best to prevent extremism, terrorism, drug trafficking and organized criminals in the Caspian Sea region.

“It’s needed to make the Caspian Sea more secure to be preserved for the next generations”, he said.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani added that the Caspian Sea should become a symbol of progress, cooperation and friendship and a big part of the sea should remain “common” for guarantying the free shipping and common activities.

“Joint investments, common cooperation and collective actions are needed,” he said.

Iranian president said that peace and security in the Caspian Sea can be guaranteed by avoiding arms race and taking unilateral measures, as well as limiting shipping right for only five littoral countries and making collective decisions.

“The Caspian Sea’s comprehensive legal status should be codified based on the international law and fair delimitation of the Caspian states’ rights and should meet the needs of the littoral countries and public opinion”, Rouhani added.

Achieving peace, stability and comprehensive development in the region would be achieved by paying attention to long-term interests and making collective decisions, he noted.

Moreover, during a press conference held after the summit, Rouhani said that cooperation among the littoral countries on transportation, energy, tourism and aquaculture is of great importance and the countries can boost their ties through cooperation on the mentioned fields.

The 4th Caspian Summit kicked off in Astrakhan, Russia on Sept. 29.

The summit brought together the heads of all Caspian littoral states – Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

The ‘Caspian Five’ (Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) are meeting to discuss the Caspian Sea’s legal status and the military component of the security in the region.

http://en.trend.az/iran/politics/2316932.html

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Work on draft convention on legal status of Caspian Sea develops positively

Sept.29. Trend

By Elmira Tariverdiyeva

The work on the draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea develops positively and the countries see significant convergence of their positions on the majority of terms of this important document, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said.

Tukmenistan’s president made the remarks during the meeting of heads of state in the Caspian summit that kicked off in Astrakhan, Russia on Sept.29, Russia 24 TV channel reported.

“The essence of the document is our common desire and commitment to turn the Caspian Sea region into a zone of peace and to put it as an example for resolving all issues only through political and diplomatic means by respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states,” Turkmen president said.

The dialogue on the Caspian Sea issue should be conducted by taking into account the interests of all parties, that’s to say it should be based on the principle of mutual respect, Berdimuhamedov said.

The president added that in order to achieve progress in the discussions on the Caspian Sea issue, it is necessary to form a legal basis for the interstate relations in the Caspian Sea.

Berdimuhamedov named the intensification of trade and economic relations as one of the key areas of development of relations between the Caspian Sea countries.

“We have all opportunities to significantly increase the economic cooperation,” he said and proposed to consider preparation of a draft agreement on trade and economic cooperation among the Caspian Sea littoral states.

The 4th Caspian Summit kicked off in Astrakhan, Russia on Sept. 29, according to a message posted on the Russian president’s official website.

The summit brought together the heads of all Caspian littoral states – Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov.

The ‘Caspian Five’ (Azerbaijan, Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan) are meeting to discuss the Caspian Sea’s legal status and the military component of the security in the region.

http://en.trend.az/casia/turkmenistan/2316970.html

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Five documents signed after 4th Caspian summit

Sep 29. KAZINFORM. ASTRAKHAN

A package of five documents has been signed at the 4th Caspian summit on Monday.

The presidents of Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan signed a joint statement and a final communique.

The parties signed an agreement on cooperation in hydrometeorology of the Caspian Sea. In the presence of the heads of state an agreement on cooperation in warning and liquidating emergencies in the Caspian Sea and an agreement on the preservation and rational use of water biological resources in the Caspian Sea were concluded, Kazinform has learnt from ITAR-TASS.

Railroad around the Caspian Sea

According to Vladimir Putin, Russia believes the project to create a railroad ring around the Caspian is promising.

“The task is to connect the key Caspian ports, which will substantially reduce the time and cost of cargo transportation, which means it will increase the competitiveness of our economies,” Putin said.

The Russian leader said such multi-partner projects demand constant organizational support.

“So we agreed with partners to think of creating a five-party structure that would address relevant issues,” he said.

Caspian Sea legal status

Russian president also noted considerable progress in preparing the convention on the Caspian Sea legal status.

“I consider progress in preparations for the convention on the Caspian Sea legal status one of the major results [at the Caspian summit in Astrakhan],” Putin said.

“Experts have been instructed to step up consultations in several remaining aspects. There are grounds for believing that in the near future we’ll get over to the signing of the convention. So we’re successfully completing the work that has been lasting for 18 years,” he said.

Resources of the Caspian

The Caspian sea is a unique water area in terms of its bio and ecological resource, which includes more than 500 kinds of sea plants and 854 kinds of fish species, including the Caspian sturgeon which accounts for 90% of the world stock of sturgeon fish.

A predicted amount of Caspian hydrocarbon resources has been estimated at around 18 billion tons, with the proved reserves put at four billion tons, which brings the Caspian Sea to second position after the Persian Gulf in the rating of the world biggest oil and gas reserves.

The first Caspian summit was held in Ashgabat in 2002; the second one five years later in Tehran, and a third one in Baku in November 2010. After Astrakhan, the baton of Caspian summits will pass on to Kazakhstan.

http://www.inform.kz/eng/article/2701446

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