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Caspian Demarcation, Seabed Resources Off Moscow Talks' Agenda

Caspian Demarcation, Seabed Resources Off Moscow Talks' AgendaCaspian Demarcation, Seabed Resources Off Moscow Talks' Agenda

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said demarcation and seabed resources were excluded from recent negotiations between the Caspian Sea littoral states and are subject to separate future agreements.

Asked about the latest ministerial meeting among the five countries in Moscow earlier this month, Zarif said, "A wide range of issues were discussed in the meeting but the points of difference and the two issues of demarcation and seabed and sub-seabed resources were left to be discussed in future talks."

"The meeting was meant to address the convention on the legal regime of the Caspian Sea and was not supposed to cover demarcation and resource shares," the top diplomat said in a recent interview with IRNA.

Zarif was responding to domestic accusations that he and his accompanying team failed to properly defend Iran's territorial rights in the ministerial gathering in Moscow, focused on finalizing a convention on the legal status of the sea.

The meeting in Moscow marked the seventh between the five Caspian littoral states, namely Iran, Russia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, at the ministerial level since the talks got underway in the early 90s following the collapse of the Soviet Union to create a legal regime that would determine their Caspian territorial rights.

That regime is set to be enshrined in a comprehensive document outlining the duties and rights of the Caspian states, among other issues.

The ministerial discussions are to be followed by a gathering of the five leaders at the Fifth Caspian Summit in Kazakhstan.

The five presidents last convened in the Russian port city of Astrakhan in 2014, where the five signed an agreement to promote the sustainable use of Caspian Sea and protect its marine life.

Also, key principles of activities in the Caspian Sea were set out in a joint political declaration that outlined the framework of the convention.

Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on Earth by area and is variously classed as the world's largest lake or a full-fledged sea.

 

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