Rouhani to Attend Caspian Summit

Rouhani to Attend Caspian Summit
Rouhani to Attend Caspian Summit

President Hassan Rouhani is in Russia to attend the 4th summit of the Caspian Sea littoral states.

Rouhani wrapped up his visit to New York on Saturday where he attended the 69th annual session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The summit is set to open today in the city of Astrakhan in southern Russia to address Caspian Sea issues.

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

The ambassador to Russia said during his one-day stay, Rouhani is scheduled to hold several meetings with regional leaders including his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. That meeting is the fourth of its kind since Iranian leader assumed office in 2013.

“Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and Transport and Urban Development Minister Abbas Akhoundi and Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani-Fazli will be accompanying the president.”

“Several documents on cooperation in fishing and emergency relief assistance are expected to be signed there.” Mehdi Sanaei added.  

The last summit of the Caspian Sea littoral states was held in the Azeri capital city of Baku in November 2010.

Among the main topics to be discussed in the summit are the future status of the sea including preservation of sturgeon population, division of responsibility zones between the littoral states (Caspian Sea bed and floor), and entitlement for the disputed gas fields.  

Agreeing on a definition of a legal regime for the land-locked lake which can receive the approval of all littoral states has been a major challenge since the collapse of the former Soviet Union (USSR) and the emergence of newly independent states in 1991.

Since then no new multilateral document has been signed on that issue. The only available treaties date back to the 1920s and 1940s that were signed between Iran and the former Soviet Union.