Deputy foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Russia and Turkmenistan will hold a routine meeting in Tehran on the status of the Caspian Sea on December 9-10.
Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Khalaf Khalafov, told RIA Novosti that the parties would coordinate the clauses of a draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea in a five-sided format.
Khalafov said that the work to coordinate the convention "confirms the positive dynamics of the issue and, taking into account the complexity of the problem, can be considered satisfactory." The Azeri-Iranian negotiations are continuing. "We are interested in further negotiations," he said. "The next meeting will be held in Baku." Touching upon the Azeri-Turkmenian Caspian Sea talks, Khalafov said, "there are no issues causing tension or antagonism. But some issues have not been understood to the end." He expressed the hope that the Turkmen embassy in Baku would resume its work and said, "we will solve issues facing our countries." Regarding the possibility of increasing military presence in the Caspian Sea area, Khalafov said, "all Caspian states believe increasing military presence and weapons in the area are not needed." According to Khalafov, "each [new independent state in the region] has its own interests, in particular, in national security.
"But this does not mean that weapons should be built up, new armed units formed and priority in inter-state relations given to these actions. The expansion of cooperation should be in the focus."
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