Convention on Caspian legal status under co-ordination

The latest session of the special working group for the Caspian, including special presidential envoys from Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan, looked through the text of the entire convention for the Caspian legal status and co-ordinated a number of articles added to the ones, adopted at the previous session in Baku.

The head of the Russian delegation, deputy foreign minister Viktor Kalyuzhny, said this in an interview with the Vremya Novostei newspaper.

According to Kalyuzhny, the sides agreed to hold bilateral consultations with a view to settling differences before their tenth meeting due June 20th-25th.

Viktor Kalyuzhny continued that a consensus had been achieved on some disputable points of the convention regarding, in particular, opinions that the dividing line should run across the middle of the Sea. Kalyuzhny also hailed the fact that the Iranians were going to visit Moscow before the aforesaid session, to hold consultations on the median line method.

Asked when the co-ordinated convention on the Caspian's ecology would be signed, Kalyuzhny said "we have managed to convince everyone in Alma-Ata that we need to convene in Tehran on June 14-15 to sign a framework convention on the environment.

Kalyuzhny did not exclude that this document could be signed in a bilateral, trilateral and quadrilateral format, if Turkmenistan refused to sign the ecological convention.

The deputy foreign minister also said Turkmenistan's position on the Caspian sounded somewhat softer at the Alma-Ata meeting.

The Iranian delegation in turn continued to insist on the 20-percent principle of the Caspian division and criticised the signing of the trilateral protocol between Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Russia on the junctions of the division lines between them.

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