Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi has rejected the claim that the demarcation of the Caspian Sea is to be finalized in a meeting underway in Kazakhstan on Sunday, August 12.
In a Sunday statement, Qassemi said the issue of dividing up the seabed and resources of the Caspian Sea among littoral states as well as the designation of the line of origin is not on the agenda in the meeting where a convention on the legal regime of the Caspian Sea is to be signed.
He rejected inexpert speculations and propaganda regarding Sunday’s event, saying, “Certain speculations and statements made are not true at all because the convention being signed today by heads of the five littoral states of the Caspian Sea basically determines the general framework for cooperation and the fundamental principles related to the legal regime of the Caspian Sea.”
Qassemi stressed that the large lake is a special one, and thus a special legal regime irrespective of the existing conventions will be drawn up and put into effect.
He dismissed speculations that the convention provides for the determination of boundaries and shares of the Caspian Sea and the division of the body of water among its coastal states.
The spokesman also said it is stipulated in the convention that no foreign country is allowed to operate military or civilian vessels in the Caspian Sea or to establish bases there.
“Furthermore, the five [littoral] countries will not allow other states to use their land, sea territory or airspace to attack any of the coastal nations,” he noted.
“The signing of this convention, which is a strategic document for cooperation among Caspian Sea states, will turn this region to yet another hub of regional cooperation in order to promote peace, stability, security and progress in the littoral countries,” he noted.
The convention, which will be signed on Sunday, is the outcome of more than two decades of negotiations at different levels between the officials of the Caspian Sea’s littoral states.
NATO Ships Not Allowed to Navigate in Caspian Sea
Earlier on Saturday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told a meeting of foreign ministers of the Caspian Sea littoral states that the convention stresses the monopoly of the presence and sailing of vessels operating solely under the flag of one of the littoral states.
It also bans on the presence and passing of foreign and non-coastal military troops, including NATO ships, he added.
“This convention does not determine the boundaries of seabed and subsoil and the baselines and its methods, and these issues are to be agreed upon in future agreements,” Zarif noted, expressing the hope coastal countries will soon finalize agreements on these affairs.
“Under the shadow of the positive will of the leaders of coastal countries and the friendly and positive atmosphere of these meetings, we are on the verge of signing the legal regime’s convention and six other agreements and protocols and releasing the statement of the leaders’ summit.”
The foreign minister said, “21 days ago, the protocol for Transboundary Environmental Impact Assessment was signed. These developments herald a bright future for our nations and governments.”
“The signing of the legal regime’s convention is a very important step that put an end to 21 years of negotiations. This convention does not mean all talks and measures have ended. This is in fact a milestone and the beginning of the implementation of agreements, monitoring their implementation and starting talks for new and necessary agreements,” he said.