7 Dec 2018 12:05

Caspian Sea Convention group to hold first meeting in Baku in early January - source

BAKU. Dec 7 (Interfax) - The ad hoc working group on the implementation of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea will hold its first meeting in Baku in January 2019 under the aegis of the foreign ministers of the Caspian Sea states, a diplomatic source told Interfax.

"There are plans to convene the first meeting of the working group in Baku in early January of next year," the source said.

The five Caspian Sea states will discuss the implementation of earlier agreements, he said.

"The main task of the working group is to prepare an agreement on methods of the establishment of the direct base lines," the source said.

The working group meeting has been postponed several times. There were plans to hold it in Azerbaijan in November, but Azerbaijani Deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov said on November 19, "Regretfully, the working group cannot hold a meeting in November. We will try to convene this meeting in the first half of December."

According to Khalafov, Baku consulted its partners in the Caspian Five (Russia, Iran, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, and Turkmenistan). "The decision will be made depending on their answers," he said.

The Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea was signed at a summit in Kazakhstan on August 12, 2018.

The Convention prescribed that the bottom and mineral resources of the Caspian Sea be divided into sectors. The sectoral division will be based on agreements between adjoining and contralateral states and international law in order to ensure their sovereign right to mineral resources and their extraction.