Caspian Sea Symbol of Peace and Cooperation

Caspian Sea Symbol of Peace and Cooperation
Caspian Sea Symbol of Peace and Cooperation

President Hassan Rouhani has said the Caspian Sea should be the "center for development and prosperity" and the "symbol of peace and security and cooperation between nations."

He made the remarks in his speech at the 4th summit of the Caspian Sea littoral states in the southern Russian city of Astrakhan on Monday.


Rouhani also said, "In order to guarantee free navigation, this unique body of water should be preserved and be accessible to all" neighboring states.

Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Turkmenistan are the five littoral states of the resource-rich Caspian Sea.

The president further called for "collective action and investment" by littoral states in order to guarantee their joint interests in the Caspian Sea.

"For such a goal to be realized it is necessary that we define our common interests and step forward toward development and progress," he added.

The president said we must attach particular importance to the Caspian Sea "which brought us together with the different languages and nations."

Rouhani further said the only way to achieve peace and stability and sustainable development in the region is to pay attention to the long-term interests of all littoral states and reach a consensus on the issues concerning the sea.

"The legal regime of the Caspian Sea should be drawn up in such a manner that the future generations praise the planners and signatories of such agreement."

"We should not allow the security of the sea and its coasts to go dependent on variables other than the joint interests of the littoral states." He added the militarization of the region should be avoided.


Joint Statement Signed

The heads of five Caspian Sea littoral states agreed on a joint statement to outline future agreements on cooperation in the region.

Commenting on the joint statement, Russian President Vladimir Putin said, "Most importantly, we have agreed on a political statement that for the first time lays down basic principles of five-party cooperation in the Caspian region. These agreements are in long-term interests of all sides.”


“We appreciate our partners’ readiness to search for necessary and mutually acceptable compromises,” he said, RIA Novosti reported.

Itar-Tass also quoted Putin as saying he was hopeful that the Caspian states would adopt a convention on the legal status of the sea at the next summit in Kazakhstan in 2015.

“The work on preparing the convention on the Caspian Sea legal status is to be completed. I’m confident that we’ll be able to agree on the provisions that have not been coordinated yet and adopt the convention at the next summit,” he said.

A communiqué and a package of documents were also signed during the Monday summit.

During the ceremony to sign the documents of the summit, Rouhani said the fact that in one day four joint documents were signed by the littoral states shows the countries’ will to cooperate on Caspian issues.

The parties signed an agreement on cooperation in hydrometeorology of the Caspian Sea. Another agreement on cooperation on early warning and emergency relief systems in the sea and an agreement on the preservation and rational use of water biological resources in the sea were concluded.

Agreeing on a definition of a legal regime for the land-locked sea which can receive the approval of all parties 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.  

The Caspian Sea's large fish resources and oil and gas deposits have made it a subject of territorial talks among the five states.

On September 26, the Caspian Sea states agreed to prevent the military presence of nonregional countries in the region.