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Caspian littoral states discuss shipping issues

20 October 2017 [16:48] - TODAY.AZ

By Azernews


By Rashid Shirinov

The Caspian Sea, the Earth’s largest inland body of water, plays an important role in the navigation sector and in the whole economies of all five countries surrounding it. Therefore, the states periodically hold meetings aimed at the discussion of these issues and adoption of relevant decisions.

This time, the issues of navigation on the Caspian Sea were discussed in a Turkmen city of Turkmenbashi within the 8th joint five-party session of the Caspian states’ administrations of sea ports, Kazinform reported on October 19.

Delegations of all Caspian states – Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan – participated in the meeting. The agenda of the session included issues of unification of tariffs for commercial services, product labeling, port charges, as well as improving of servicing ships and crews.

Within two days, representatives of the five countries discussed various aspects of cooperation in the field of shipping, sea freight, safety of navigation, development of port infrastructure, exchange of logistics information, protection of the marine environment of the Caspian Sea and other relevant issues.

The main issue was the special interest of the littoral countries in strengthening and expanding mutually beneficial partnership in the transport sector, as well as increasing of the region’s role in the Eurasian system of transport communications.

A day earlier, delegations of the five states participated at the international conference in Turkmenistan’s capital Ashgabat, titled “Peace, stability and international cooperation in the Caspian region.” They outlined the positions of their states on the issues facing the Caspian countries, related to their economic and environmental activities, possible ways of solving these problems, the establishment of scientific marine centers and the development of a national marine strategy.

Today, there is an issue in the determination of the legal status of the Caspian Sea, and it prevents development and exploitation of the sea’s disputable oil and gas fields and creates obstacles to the realization of major projects.

Russia, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan hold to the principle of dividing into national sectors based on the “median line” principles since it is an international boundary lake, and leaving the sea surface for general use. That is, they are for demarcation of mineral resources and the Caspian Sea shelf, but against dividing up its waters.

In contrast, Iran seeks an equal division of the Caspian Sea into five equal sectors, mainly because most of the offshore energy resources are located away from the Iranian coastline. Turkmenistan also demands the division of the Sea into equal parts between the coastal countries so that each state has 20 percent of the sea.

URL: http://www.today.az/news/regions/166010.html

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