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Baku to host Caspian Basin summit

By Messenger Staff
Friday, October 15
On November 18, Baku will host a summit for five Caspian Basin countries. The main issue will be determining the legal status of the Caspian Sea, a topic which has been on the agenda for these countries for more than 10 years. It is hoped that the heads of the state of the five Caspian Basin countries will sign a treaty on security in the Caspian region; the countries have been discussing the treaty for two years. Most countries have already set their claims on the Caspian Sea; Iran however is demanding 20% of the Caspian waters. There are also arguments between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan. Despite these and other difficulties a convention on the Caspian Sea area environment protection was signed in 2003. The first summit of this type was held in Ashgabat in 2002, the second was in Tehran in October 2007 in Tehran. The proposed security treaty aims to protect the region from terrorism, organised crime, arms smuggling, drugs and nuclear threats as well as piracy and illegal migration. Special organisations will be established to formulate and carry out the plans. All the disputed issues should be settled by negotiation and consultation. The proposed treaty does not touch upon oil and gas issues or pipelines. However, one must admit that these are the most important problems for each country with the major disagreements being over the division of the Caspian Sea bed.