Rouhani: No foreign force can frequent in Caspian Sea

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Tehran, Aug 12, IRNA – President Hassan Rouhani says based on the Caspian Sea legal regime convention no foreign force and military vessel can frequent in the Caspian Sea and security of the sea rests exclusively and solely with the five littoral states.

Rouhani made the remarks in a joint press conference with his four Caspian counterparts after signing the Caspian Sea legal regime convention.

He said conclusion of the Caspian legal regime convention marks a new step towards better and stronger relations among the littoral states.

He added that today, the five Caspian states today took a major step towards strengthening of regional security, better relations and better use of the Sea.

'The first step towards the convention since the earliest agreement in Tehran session up until now in Aktau was good neighborliness and good relations among the quintet states.'

President Rouhani went on to say that the Islamic Republic of Iran's relations with Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russian Federation and Azerbaijan have always been very cordial and sincere and that's the main factor in signing such agreements.

'Undoubtedly, had governments not been so close to each other and had they been distanced and not taken national interests into consideration and relations among regional nations been not so historically deep, the inking of seven documents, especially the Caspian Legal Regime Convention would not have been possible; I congratulate regional nations on the achievement,' he added.

President Rouhani underlined that one of the very important achievements of the Caspian Sea legal regime convention is security and stability of the Sea.

'That it was explicitly announced that the Caspian Sea belongs only to its five littoral states and that it was made explicit that no foreign force or military vessel can frequent in it and security of the Sea rests only with five littoral states, and that land of none of the littoral states can be used against any other littoral state, all mean stability and security of the important sea,' he added.

'In the document, we also showed that we have observed fairness and justice, though we did not specify the source line in the Convention; however, we made it explicit that the countries having special coastline, should be availed with specific features which meant the Islamic Republic coastlines. Moreover, in the document, the foundations and bases have been clarified based on which share of any country in the bed and seabed will be clarified in the future.'

Emphasizing that Iran should continue with its own activities to gain latest legal issues in the Caspian Sea, Rouhani said today, presidents of five littoral states have signed a document, but its finalization needs following legal procedures and in Iran the Majlis should confirm it.

'Today, conditions have been prepared for better and more use of the Caspian Sea in favor of the littoral states.'

The president said transit and oil and gas are among advantages of the Caspian Sea.

'The Islamic Republic of Iran shoulders a major role in transit and through cooperation with Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan on the eastern side and Azerbaijan and Russia on the west we can link Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus to southern Persian Gulf and Oman waters and this means that Caspian Sea can be a transit for in and outside the region.'

Concluding his remarks, Rouhani hoped that major steps, that have been taken for further stability and security of the Caspian Sea, along with next steps for more use of the Caspian Sea interests will favor all regional nations.