Littoral states ban presence of foreign forces in Caspian Sea

August 12, 2018 - 16:53

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Sunday that the five countries bordering the Caspian Sea have agreed to keep the sea out of the reach of foreign military forces.

The remarks by Zarif came as the leaders from the Caspian Sea littoral states gathered at Aktau, Kazakhstan, to sign the Caspian Sea legal regime. 

In a tweet on Sunday, Zarif also praised the summit in Kazakhstan, saying it set the roadmap for cooperation and continuation of dialogue to resolve issues related to demarcation of the sea and the use of seabed resources.

“Day of solidarity of Caspian Littoral States: Codifying cooperation on environment, shipping, fiheries, sustainable development & security w/o foreign military presence. Agreeing to continue friendly dialog on unresolved issues of delimitation & shares of sea & its resources,” Zarif tweeted. 

Speaking at a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Caspian Sea states before the sea’s legal regime was formally signed, Zarif said, “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.”

Zarif said 21 days ago, the protocol for “Trans-boundary Environmental Impact Assessment” was signed and 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, according to the Foreign Ministry website. 

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.”

The chief diplomat also noted, “It is welcome that the convention stresses the monopoly of the presence and sailing of vessels [operating] solely under the flag of one of the littoral states, as well as the ban on the presence and passing of foreign and non-coastal military troops.”


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