– My colleagues and I have summed up the results of many years of work to resolve the legal status of the Caspian Sea. We have discussed the state of affairs and further measures to promote multilateral practical cooperation. We have signed a number of important agreements in the areas of trade, economy, transport and security, the President of Kazakhstan said.
Nursultan Nazarbayev, noting the success of the talks, stressed that in the process of preparing the Convention, all countries proceeded from the interests of ensuring political stability, development of the Caspian region, preservation and enhancement of its natural resources.
– The culmination of many years of painstaking work is signing the Convention today on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea. The Convention is a kind of Constitution of the Caspian Sea. It is called upon to resolve the entire complex of issues related to the rights and obligations of coastal states, and also to become a guarantor of security, stability and prosperity in the region, the President of Kazakhstan stated.
Nursultan Nazarbayev told the journalists present that the Convention creates an effective legal basis for cooperation of riparian countries in a wide range of areas and determines the basic principles of each of the parties.
– Among them is the transformation of the Caspian Sea into a zone of peace, good-neighbourliness and friendship; its use for peaceful purposes; respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity; lack of the armed forces on the Caspian Sea that do not belong to the parties. We have established territorial waters with a width of 15 marine miles, while their external borders acquire the status of state ones. The territorial waters are adjoined by ten-mile fishing zones, where each state has exclusive rights for fishing. Outside the fishing zones, the common water area remains unchanged. Outside the sea frontiers, freedom of navigation will be applied to ships flying the flags of coastal countries. The agreement on freedom of transit to other seas and the oceans is of great importance. Each state implements sovereign rights to subsoil use within the boundaries of its bottom sector. At the same time it is possible to lay main pipelines and cables along the seabed with the condition of observing ecological requirements, the Head of State said.
The President of Kazakhstan has stressed that observance of these principles is intended to contribute to the development of transport infrastructure of the coastal states, to increase the transit potential of the Caspian region, as well as to preserve the ecological system and the unique population of the Caspian’s biological resources.
In addition, Nursultan Nazarbayev proposed a number of additional measures for the further development of cooperation in the Caspian Sea, including conclusion of a separate five-sided agreement on agreed confidence-building measures in the field of military activities, stimulation of trade and economic relations of coastal countries, especially on investment cooperation and implementation of projects in the energy sphere, optimization of tariff policy and improvement of transportation conditions, as well as adopting a document to combat illegal fishing biological resources.
In conclusion, the Head of State stressed that Aktau Summit once again demonstrated the ability of the Caspian countries to jointly solve large-scale tasks and expressed confidence that the adopted international treaties and agreements reached would contribute to the fullest disclosure of the potential of the Caspian Five.
At the end of the summit, the Presidents of the Republic of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev, Islamic Republic of Iran Hassan Rouhani, Russian Federation Vladimir Putin, Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov have made statements.
Following the Fifth Caspian Summit, the following documents have been inked:
1. Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea.
2. Protocol on Cooperation in the field of combating terrorism in the Caspian Sea.
3. Protocol on Cooperation in the field of combating organized crime in the Caspian Sea.
4. Agreement between the governments of the Caspian states on trade and economic cooperation.
5. Agreement between the governments of the Caspian states on cooperation in the field of transport.
6. Agreement on prevention of incidents in the Caspian Sea.
7. Protocol on Cooperation and interaction of border agencies.
– Thanks to your policy and effective bilateral meetings at the highest level, trade between our countries is growing and the volumes of cargo transportation are increasing. The supplies of agricultural products have become especially active, the President of Kazakhstan said.
Nursultan Nazarbayev has noted that Kazakhstan and Iran are close neighbours in the Caspian region, and stressed that the visits in 2016 gave a good impetus to bilateral relations.
– Our historic meeting based on trust and mutual understanding will settle all issues related to the Caspian Sea and strengthen cooperation between the Caspian countries, the Head of State said.
In turn, President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Hasan Rouhani thanked Nursultan Nazarbayev for the opportunity to visit Kazakhstan and the cordial welcome extended to the members of the Iranian delegation.
– We are happy to meet with you. I hope that today’s summit will achieve the most positive results. Our countries are very close not only geographically, but also on a number of other aspects. At the same time, we have common interests, the Iranian leader said.
H.Rouhani has stressed that Kazakhstan always supports Iran on international platforms and invariably complies with nuclear agreements.
– Your country is carrying out a very important peacekeeping mission in the global arena, including as part of Astana Process. Our relations are of a strategic nature and are developing in all directions. Today Aktau hosts a significant summit on the Caspian theme, which once again confirms the great authority of Kazakhstan, the President of Iran concluded.
The Head of State thanked the President of the Russian Federation for his active participation in the landmark summit for the Caspian countries, which opens up new opportunities and prospects for cooperation.
– Our bilateral relations are moving in all directions, especially in the sphere of economy, military-technical and space industries. Economic issues are developing dynamically within the framework of the EEA, “said the President of Kazakhstan.
In turn, Vladimir Putin congratulated Nursultan Nazarbayev on the results of the summit of the Caspian states and noted that this event will go down in history as held exactly in Kazakhstan.
– This is a great event, to which we have been going for two decades. After lengthy discussions and arguments, finally, a solution is found. Undoubtedly, this will contribute to the development of our cooperation in the Caspian region, “the President of the Russian Federation said.
V.Putin noted the growth of mutual trade turnover and expressed confidence that all major projects and programs, including in space, energy and transport, will be further developed, and both countries will achieve good results.
“I want to thank you for the attention that you personally give to Russian-Kazakh relations,” said the President of the Russian Federation.
In addition, the parties discussed the upcoming interregional forum in Petropavlovsk and the CIS summit in Dushanbe.
Nursultan Nazarbayev noted that the day before there was a landmark event – the launch of the multimodal hub of Kuryk port, which opens up new transport and logistics opportunities for all countries of the region, Azerbaijan including.
– We built a railway along Kazakhstan and 6 automobile crossings, two of which are on the border with China. We built a logistics terminal in Lianyungang Port in the Pacific Ocean and built a modern highway through the whole territory of our country, the Head of State said.
In turn, Ilham Aliyev congratulated Nursultan Nazarbayev on the opening of the multimodal hub in the Caspian Sea and the great achievements that demonstrate Kazakhstan’s dynamic development.
– I am very glad to visit the land of fraternal Kazakhstan again. For us, Mangistau region is very close, both historically and geographically. The new opportunities of Kuryk port will allow us to cooperate even more closely, the President of Azerbaijan said.
I.Aliyev said that in May of the current year Azerbaijan opened the port of Alyak, which will ensure full integration of traffic flows, and noted the political and economic benefits of using the transit opportunities of the two countries.
– The Caspian has become the external transport artery. I would particularly like to note your contribution to the consensus on many complex issues. We will strive to ensure that all provisions of the Convention are implemented, and that the Caspian continues to play the role of stabilizer in the region, the President of Azerbaijan stated.