Opening Remarks by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Opening of the Plenary Session of the Meeting of Foreign Ministers of the Caspian Littoral States, Moscow, December 5, 2017

Wednesday, 06 December 2017 11:25

Colleagues,

I would like to cordially welcome you to another meeting of the foreign ministers of the Caspian littoral states. This is our regular format. We are meeting for the seventh time in the past few years.

We are pleased with how well the Caspian Five mechanism operates: an open interaction on an equal and mutually respectful basis. We discuss all issues that come up and search for best solutions together.

A solid multi-level dialogue system is up and running, which helps to maintain an atmosphere of neighbourliness and mutual understanding on the Caspian. As I said, there are regular meetings of heads of state and foreign ministers, and effective sector-based discussion platforms. I would especially like to note the activities of the Ad Hoc Working Group for the Elaboration of a Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea at the level of our deputies, the Intergovernmental Commission on the Conservation and Rational Use of Aquatic Biological Resources, and the Committee on Hydrometeorology.

We praise the efforts of our countries’ regions that are adjacent to the Caspian Sea to expand direct contact. We attach great importance to the dialogue between defence and law enforcement agencies, and rescue services. We expect our joint environmental activities to grow even more effective.

Today’s agenda is packed, as a lot of issues have accumulated since our previous meeting in July 2016 in Astana.

We would like to see how our experts’ work is progressing on the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea.

We expect that the talks on this document will be completed at the next, fifth Caspian summit in Kazakhstan, and that the Caspian Five will have the reliable legal foundation they need to reach a higher level of interaction.

In addition to legal status, we need to discuss several practical aspects of the five countries’ economic, transport, environmental and security cooperation on the Caspian.

I think it is important to make every effort for the results of this meeting to contribute to the preparations for the heads of state summit.

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