18.10.07 19:36

Caspian problem: Ashgabat's stance remains firm

Speaking at the second summit of the heads of the Caspian Sea states, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov emphasized that unfinished work on developing a draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea affects the adoption of a set of documents on cooperation in the spheres such as preservation, reproduction and use of biological resources of the Caspian Sea; the fight against poaching; commercial shipping; tourism, as well as the development and use of hydrocarbon resources of the Caspian Sea bottom. In this regard, the president of Turkmenistan proposed to hold regular meetings of the Caspian states' foreign ministers to enhance constructiveness of the negotiating process.

"Turkmenistan has always followed the path of mutually acceptable solutions on the basis of the international law to the extent that it guarantees sovereign rights and legitimate interests of the Caspian states," Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said.

"Turkmenistan does not accept the practice of unilateral activities on the Caspian Sea, first of all exploration of those oil fields that remain disputed," he said.

"In this context, it should be emphasized that Turkmenistan strictly complies with universally recognized norms and principles of the international law designed to respect sovereignty, equality and justice in relations with partners in the region. Foreign policy activities of Turkmenistan leave no single reason for doubt in its irreproachable compliance with relevant international norms and principles," Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov said. He stressed that Turkmenistan's legal rights and interests in the Caspian region should be treated similarly.

"We speak about the observance of principles and norms of the international law not only in relation to Turkmenistan, but equally in relation to our neighbors in the Caspian region," the president specified.

The Turkmen president offered his full support to a draft joint declaration and expressed confidence that this declaration would become the most important document for progress in the negotiations to reach accord on a draft convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea."

In conclusion, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov assured that Turkmenistan would further take an active part in resolving all issues pertaining to the legal status of the Caspian Sea for the sake of stronger peace, security and international cooperation.

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