The interests of the Caspian littoral states in ensuring regional security require additional efforts

Baku: The Caspian Sea is a link in many international and regional projects. The success of the projects of Baku-Supsa and Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipelines, as well as Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway serve economic development of the Caspian littoral states and the world’s energy security, said Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Elmar Mammadyarov addressing the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Caspian littoral states in Moscow, the Foreign Ministry told APA.

Mammadyarov stressed the importance of mutual trust between the parties with regard to regional stability, security, economic and scientific research activities.

“The presence of military forces and military activity in the Caspian Sea should be based on the principle of providing equal security conditions for all littoral states. This will serve strengthening mutual trust between the regional countries and turning the Caspian Sea into the area of friendship and cooperation,” Mammadyarov said.

Mammadyarov expressed his confidence that the issues related to the regime for merchant shipping, the right of innocent passage of ships through the territories of other countries and laying of pipelines under the Caspian Sea will be resolved within the framework of negotiations in accordance with international maritime law.

“Surely, the interests of the regional countries in improvement of investment climate, production of energy resources, establishment of security communications, as well as ensuring stability and security in the region require us to make additional efforts to reach agreement on all outstanding issues. We attach great importance to the contract signed between Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia on the delimitation of the Caspian Sea. These contracts are an integral part of the Caspian Sea’s legal status and ground for reaching common agreements”, the minister noted.

The Minister stressed that Azerbaijan is committed to address issues on the Caspian legal status through negotiations. He noted that a considerable work has been done with the view of strengthening legal framework for the cooperation of the Caspian littoral states.

Mammadyarov noted that agreements on the elimination of emergency situations in the Caspian Sea and cooperation in the field of hydrometeorology have already been developed. The work on an agreement regarding preservation and rational utilization of biological resources of the Caspian is about to end.

SOURCE: AZERI PRESS NEWS AGENCY