Foreign countries have no right in Caspian Sea: Azeri official

Baku, Dec 7, IRNA - Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Azerbaijan Khalaf Khalafov said on Wednesday that only the five Caspian Sea littoral states are entitled to use the land locked sea basin and other countries have no right in it.

Addressing a news conference on the newly-ended Forum of the Caspian Sea Littoral States’ Foreign Ministers held in Moscow, he added that since the start of the negotiations 21 years ago, the recent ministerial meeting came to an end with the positive result of finalizing a draft of the convention of the Caspian Sea legal regime.

In the next stage, the draft of the convention should be examined by the relevant institutes of the five littoral states, making it ready for approval of the countries’ leaders, he said.

Referring to the establishment of a working group for compiling the draft of convention comprising representative of the five states in 1996, Khalafov said that some 49 meetings have so far been held for finalizing the document.

The draft convention has adopted an equal approach for all littoral countries, stressing the principle of cooperation among them, he said.

Based on the document, Khalafov said, the sea bed will be equally divided among its littoral states while each of them can use a 15-mile wide area of the sea surface as their own territory and a 10-mile area for their exclusive fishing activities.

The remaining areas would be use jointly by the Caspian Sea littoral statesm said the Azeri minister.

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