30.09.14 11:30

President of Turkmenistan attends summit of Caspian states in Astrakhan

President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov took part in the IV Summit of Heads of Caspian States in Astrakhan.

Upon arrival in Astrakhan, the President of Turkmenistan proceeded to the Astrakhan Kremlin, which is one of the main attractions of the city as well as the historical and cultural monument of Russia of federal importance.

The Turkmen leader’s car stopped at "Tseikhgauz" building located in the territory of the Astrakhan Kremlin. At the entrance to the building, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was warmly greeted by President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin.

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani and President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev also arrived in Astrakhan to participate in the summit.

The heads of five Caspian states gathered for the official group photographing ceremony before the beginning of the summit. Then, the heads of Caspian states met in a “narrow format” in the small conference hall.

The meeting was held in the atmosphere of mutual understanding and constructivism. The sides exchanged views on the key aspects of interaction, as well as on a number of international issues of mutual interest.

A number of urgent issues were put on the summit agenda, including, first of all, the legal status of the Caspian Sea, development of efficient cooperation in important areas such as security in the Caspian Sea, economy and transport, environment and biological resources of this unique natural reservoir and other aspects of interaction.

In the course of discussion of the short- and long-term priority areas of partnership, the heads of Caspian states expressed the unanimous opinion that the current summit would give a new impetus to the negotiation process aimed at finding mutually acceptable solutions and development of the optimal format of cooperation.

The summit then continued in the large conference room in an enlarged format.

President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov delivered a speech at the summit of Caspian states. The President of Turkmenistan stressed that the top-level meetings are the key factor in revitalizing the negotiation process on the Caspian Sea issues. The understanding of the fact that a multilateral dialogue on the Caspian issues should fully meet the interests of all its participants on the basis of the principles of equality and mutual respect is a critical characteristic of this process.

"This is the only way that we can consistently move towards finding common solutions, concrete results and agreements,” President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said.

According to the head of state, Turkmenistan has been always guided by the fact that the five-way interaction in the Caspian Sea is a unifying factor that reflects aspirations of the Caspian states for peace, harmony and efficient international cooperation. That is why any issues, even the most complex, should be discussed in the atmosphere of good neighborly relations and partnerships. Undoubtedly, it is important to move forward to develop a modern legal basis for bilateral relations in the Caspian Sea. In this context, President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized that the work on the draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea is going in the right direction. To date, the parties have been able to make a significant convergence of positions on most of the provisions of this important document. Strong shared desire and commitment to making the Caspian Sea a zone of peace and important component of international strategic stability and security, a model for solving all the issues exclusively through political and diplomatic means on the basis of respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity of states are the governing idea of this document.

Noting that there are still some provisions in the draft Convention that need to be agreed by the parties, the Turkmen leader expressed confidence that relevant mutually acceptable solutions would be found on these issues through the consolidation of common efforts. In this regard, the President of Turkmenistan stressed the need to liven up the format of meetings and consultations at the level of foreign ministers of the Caspian states, along with the activities of an ad-hoc working group.

The basic principles of activities in the Caspian Sea that are one of the key elements of the future legal status were laid in the basis of the Astrakhan Summit Statement by the heads of Caspian states.

"This important document will help to consolidate the results achieved in developing a modern and viable code of conduct in the Caspian Sea,” the President of Turkmenistan said.

In his speech, the President of Turkmenistan proposed to discuss preparation of a draft agreement on trade and economic cooperation among the Caspian states. In this regard, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov put forward a proposal to establish a permanent Caspian Economic Forum that would meet alternately in the coastal cities of the neighboring states.

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov also called for establishment of new transport routes between the Caspian, Black and Baltic Seas. According to the Turkmen leader, the parties should seriously work on establishment of a transport network connecting the Caspian region with the Middle East and the Mediterranean, South and South-East Asia. Given the importance of mutual integration of the transport systems of the Caspian states, ensuring coordination of multimodal transportation at the regional and global levels, Turkmenistan believes that it is important to develop a draft agreement on cooperation in the field of transport in the Caspian Sea. In this regard, the President of Turkmenistan supported the idea of creating a regional transport and logistics center in the Caspian Sea, as one of the elements of practical implementation of such cooperation.

As President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov noted, the Caspian Sea basin is rapidly emerging as one of the world's major centers of production and transportation of hydrocarbons. Turkmenistan is convinced that cooperation between the Caspian states in the energy sector is highly promising and capable of giving a strong impetus to regional and international development and investment activities and making positive impact on the geopolitical situation in this part of the globe.

According to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, the interests of the Caspian states in the energy sector do not have deep-seated contradictions, and Turkmenistan opposes politicizing any unresolved issues. This fully applies to the prospects of construction of pipelines on the bottom of the Caspian Sea, the Turkmen leader said. He noted that in this matter it is important to strictly adhere to the universally recognized norms of international law, the principles of mutual respect and interests of partners.

President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said that construction of such pipelines is the sovereign right of states via the territory of which pipelines are laid, and therefore it can only be done with their consent. At the same time, the head of state noted the need to comply with the highest international environmental standards.

The President of Turkmenistan expressed special gratitude to the heads of the Caspian states for their great personal contribution to the development of good neighborly relations and partnership in the Caspian Sea, constructivism and respectful attitude.

Following the speeches by the heads of state of the region, a ceremony of signing the final documents was held in the press conference room.

On the outcomes of the Astrakhan Summit the sides signed the Agreement on Cooperation in the field of hydrometeorology of the Caspian Sea, the Agreement on Cooperation in the field of prevention and liquidation of emergency situations in the Caspian Sea and the Agreement on conservation and sustainable use of marine biological resources of the Caspian Sea.

The heads of five Caspian states signed the Statement of the Presidents of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan.

The leaders of Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan also adopted the Communiqué of the IV Caspian Summit.

Then, the leaders of the Caspian states made ​​statements for the press.

After the press conference, the heads of the Caspian states went for a walk in the park named after Peter the Great on the bank of Volga River, where they took part in the ceremony of releasing sturgeon juveniles into the river.

Here, the leaders of five neighboring countries were welcomed by the participants of the Youth Summit of Caspian states held on the sidelines of the five-party summit. One of the main issues on the forum agenda was the ecological aspect, along with other issues such as youth media, youth entrepreneurship and intercultural dialogue.

From the park named after Peter the Great the joint motorcade of leaders of the neighboring countries proceeded to the Astrakhan State Opera and Ballet Theatre, where the President of the Russian Federation hosted  an official dinner in honor of the heads of Caspian states, followed by a concert of masters of arts.

On the same day, President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin held a meeting.

Then, the Turkmen leader proceeded to the International Airport of Astrakhan, from where he left home.


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