Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Caspian states took place in Moscow, where parties summed up preliminary results of the preparations for the Fourth Caspian Summit, scheduled for September this year in Astrakhan.
In his remarks at the opening ceremony, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation Sergey Lavrov noted the importance of continuing the search for mutually acceptable solutions of the complex issues related to the responsible use of the Caspian Sea, the Kazakh MFA's press service said.
In turn, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Erlan Idrissov emphasized that "over the years the Caspian Sea has been the sea of friendship and stability, bringing together the peoples inhabiting its shores... The settlement of the status of the Caspian Sea and the establishment of the legal regime of international political, economic and cultural cooperation has been and remains a strategically important issue for Kazakhstan in the context of political stability, the development of the Caspian region, preservation and multiplication of its natural resources and the use of its unique geographical location."
"Only a coordinated effort will allow us to successfully integrate the resources of coastal states into the world economy, and our newly planned infrastructure projects, as well as those that are being implemented will contribute to the development of the existing capacity of our countries and the Caspian region in general, the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan said.
During the event, drafts political documents for the upcoming summit, as well as the results of the work carried out on projects of sectoral agreements in the bioresources conservation and disaster management areas in the Caspian Sea were discussed.
The foreign ministers of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan also submitted proposals to the agenda of the Astrakhan summit and generally agreed on a list of issues that will be submitted to the presidents of the Caspian states. The general opinion of the parties is that the issues included on the agenda of the summit are the most fundamental and require solid political decisions which will take into account the interests of all participants of the negotiating process.
The conference was held in the spirit of constructive dialogue, mutual understanding and compromise, which helped to bring the parties' positions on a number of aspects.
The parties positively assessed the meeting's results and agreed to continue to work to prepare for the mentioned summit in the negotiating mechanism of the Ad Hoc Working Group on the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea at the level of deputy foreign ministers of the Caspian states.
Minister Idrissov and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif held bilateral talks on the sidelines of the conference. The two sides discussed important issues on the bilateral agenda, including the development of economic, trade and transport and logistics cooperation. In particular, the importance of the upcoming commissioning of the Turkmen- Iranian section of Kazakhstan -Turkmenistan-Iran railway in autumn this year. In addition, the two Ministers reviewed the progress of international "E3/EU+3" and Iran negotiations on latter's nuclear program, and therefore the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan has expressed support for the process, as well as his willingness to continue to provide all possible assistance.
Minister Idrissov also held a meeting with the Vice Premier - Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan Rashid Meredov. The sides focused on the development of cooperation in the field of transport and logistics, as well as on the organization this year of a high-level contacts between the two heads of state. The Ministers emphasized the importance of the work of Turkmen Consulate in Aktau and upcoming opening of Kazakh Consulate in Turkmenbashi for deepening of bilateral relations. It was also noted that the strong historical ties and commonalities of Kazakh and Turkmen people are a powerful foundation for the development of mutually beneficial cooperation at the present stage.