Caspian Sea Littoral States FMs

FMs of Caspian Sea littoral states hold unofficial meeting

ASTANA (Tasnim) – Foreign minister of the Caspian Sea littoral states held an unofficial meeting in Astana, Kazakhstan, on Tuesday.

The meeting was held at the Central Asia country’s foreign ministry with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in attendance.

The main ministerial meeting among top diplomats will be held on Wednesday.

Upon arrival in Astana, Zarif had said that the Caspian countries have reached a consensus on many topics, but noted that a number of issues still remain to be settled.

It would be relatively optimistic to think that participants in the Astana meeting will be able to resolve the outstanding issues and reach a conclusion, Zarif  said.

Though the differences have been widely narrowed, there still exist issues that need to discussed and settled, he added.

Accompanied by a high-ranking delegation, including legal and political experts, Zarif is joining his counterparts from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Russia for talks on the legal status of the lake.

Two days ago, a special working group from Iran arrived in Astana to participate in the expert-level talks ahead of the ministerial meeting.

The working group’s sessions were part of efforts to draft the convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.

The 45th meeting of the special working group of the Caspian Sea concluded in Russia’s capital of Moscow on June 10 with a communiqué.

The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed water body on earth by area, variously classed as the world’s largest lake or a full-fledged sea.

The Caspian Sea Convention will determine the territorial rights of littoral states as well as other matters related to the world’s largest landlocked body of water.

By Tasnim News Agency