Thu Aug 18, 2022 23:52:32
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Ayatollah Raisi at the 6th Summit of the Caspian Sea Littoral States;

Cooperation of Caspian Sea littoral states has become increasingly important due to int’l developments/ I hope the holding of these meetings will bring security, stability, peace and friendship to the people of the region

The President called the Caspian Sea a sea of cooperation and said, "Cooperation of the Caspian Sea littoral states has become increasingly important, especially due to international developments, and this interaction will not only lead to economic prosperity and increase the welfare of our nations, but also strengthen regional peace and stability and solving the problems of the Caspian Sea zone merely through its coastal countries”.

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Wed 29 - June 2022 - 20:34

Speaking on Wednesday afternoon at the Sixth Summit of the Caspian Sea Littoral States in Ashgabat, Ayatollah Dr Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi welcomed the initiatives presented by the presidents of the Caspian Sea littoral states to develop economic cooperation in various fields and said, "The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the Caspian Sea a sea of peace and friendship, and the source of bonds and closeness of the people of the region and declares its readiness for comprehensive cooperation based on mutual respect and interests”.

The full text of the President's speech at the Sixth Summit of the Caspian Sea Littoral States is as follows:

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

His Excellency Mr Serdar Berdimuhamedow,

His Excellency Mr Ilham Aliyev,

His Excellency Mr Kassym-Jomart Tokayev,

His Excellency Mr Vladimir Putin,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to express my satisfaction with attending the Sixth Summit of the Caspian Sea Littoral States in the beautiful city of Ashgabat and meeting with the dear friends and colleagues and presidents. I also deem it necessary to thank the warm and sincere hospitality of my dear friend and brother Mr Serdar Berdimuhamedow, the President of Turkmenistan.

Excellencies!

Distinguished Presidents!

Today, we are present at the Sixth Summit of the Caspian Sea Littoral States in the city of Ashgabat, where we have come a long way since the previous summit in Ashgabat in 2002. By compiling several documents, we have created suitable legal bases for cooperation and taking advantage of the benefits of this water. We have found a common language for mutual benefits. We have portrayed a clear vision to continue. All these achievements are the result of effort, tact, foresight, comprehensiveness and consideration of the rights and mutual interests of our countries.

Caspian Sea, our common heritage and capital; the axis of bonds and friendship; and the source of blessings for more than the 270 million people of its coastal countries, which reflects the five countries in the mirror of a single water area. Just as our civilising fathers and cultured mothers have enjoyed peace and prosperity on these shores and in the region for thousands of years, so our nations, as permanent seaside neighbours, must have a long-term approach towards the Caspian Sea as a sea of friendship and cooperation so that we have fulfilled our responsibility towards the current and future generations. From this perspective, the cultural convergence of the Caspian Sea littoral states is one of the main priorities that guarantees cooperation and friendship in the long run and strengthens it in the hearts of nations. The Islamic Republic of Iran proposes that this spiritual heritage be preserved and strengthened by institutionalising and holding joint socio-cultural programmes.

As countries that are interconnected and neighbouring through the Caspian Sea and use each other's territory to access other countries and regions, we have many rights and obligations towards this water area as well as its coastal countries. Protection of the fragile environment, reasonable use of living resources, responsible activities for the exploitation of the mineral resources of the Caspian Sea with the aim of economic development and promoting the welfare and security of our peoples and respect for each other's sovereignty, rights and competence in this water area are part of these rights and responsibilities.

The key principle agreed upon by the "exclusive and consensual competence of the littoral states" to decide on the Caspian Sea and resolve its issues is a beacon that guides the cooperation and ensuring the mutual benefits of the Caspian Sea littoral states. This, as well as in the previous treaties, closes the way for third and non-Caspian parties to intervene in issues related to the Caspian Sea or to commit aggression and other actions against any of the littoral states, and can prevent possible unpleasant incidents. Therefore, it is necessary for us, as the Caspian littoral states, to preserve the Caspian Sea region as a "region of peace and friendship" by emphasising on quinquelateral cooperation and avoiding unilateral actions, relying on existing capacities and expanding cooperation, and pay serious attention to the long-term interests of the region and its coastal countries and observing the "principle of unanimity" in all decisions related to the Caspian Sea.

Fortunately, there is good and constructive cooperation between the Caspian Sea littoral states in various fields, especially transportation, trade, live resource management, environmental protection, security and combatting causes of insecurity and crimes in various forms. For this purpose, many documents have been compiled and the basis of cooperation has been developed over the past years.

At the previous meeting of the Caspian Sea littoral states in Aktau in 2018, after two decades of negotiations, the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea was finalised and signed as a document stating the rights and obligations of the littoral states and the basic principles of operation in the Caspian Sea. Certainly, its implementation can pave the way for more cooperation between the littoral states as well as wider activities in the Caspian Sea. Naturally, achieving this requires determining fair borders of the areas of governance, rights and jurisdiction of the coastal states with respect to the seabed and under seabed, water level and column, as well as the upper levels of Caspian Sea. In this regard, the finalisation of the "Agreement on How to Draw Lines of Origin" is important, and the Islamic Republic of Iran has always stated, including in the interpretative declaration after the signing of the convention, that this is a significant and decisive importance for Iran as a country with "a clear unfavourable coastline". We hope that with the continuation of negotiations of the representatives of littoral states in the near future, this agreement is also finalised to pave the way for the approval of the Convention on Legal Regime of the Caspian Sea.

Excellencies!

Ladies and gentlemen!

Justice is one of the basic foundations of shaping the foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Accordingly, the establishment of just bilateral relations as well as the formation of a just multilateral order is one of the main directions of Iran's foreign policy. Naturally, one of the benefits of a just order is the development of friendly relations between the actors, especially the neighbours, which will also serve their mutual interests.

Recently, with the lifting of restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we have witnessed a significant increase in political and economic interactions between Iran and the Caspian Sea littoral states. Due to its geographical location and suitable infrastructure, the Islamic Republic of Iran is ready to provide transit and access to the Caspian Sea littoral states to other countries and regions, especially Iranian ports in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman through its territory. Also, cooperation in the field of export and swap of oil and gas, electricity, minerals and agricultural products is one of the items on the agenda of our negotiations with neighbouring countries in the Caspian Sea in recent months, and good agreements have been reached in these areas, which promises a new era of strategic cooperation.

The Caspian Sea is a sea of cooperation, and this cooperation has become increasingly important, especially due to international developments. The interaction of the Islamic Republic of Iran with its friends and neighbours is original, and this interaction and cooperation will not only lead to economic prosperity and increase the welfare of our nations, but also strengthen regional peace and stability and solving the problems of the Caspian Sea zone merely through its coastal countries. This major strategy of the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue, regardless of international developments.

The Islamic Republic of Iran welcomes and supports the initiatives presented by the Presidents of the Caspian Sea littoral states to develop economic cooperation in the fields of transport, investment, tourism and other forms of economic activity, and in particular the need to strengthen cultural relations and preserve the fragile environment of the Caspian Sea.

The Islamic Republic of Iran considers the Caspian Sea a sea of peace and friendship, and the source of bonds and closeness of the people of the region and declares its readiness for comprehensive cooperation based on mutual respect and interests.

Finally, the Islamic Republic of Iran announces its readiness to hold the seventh Caspian Summit. It is hoped that the holding of these summits will bring increasing growth and development, security, stability, prosperity, peace and friendship to the people of the Caspian Sea region. Thank you again for the proper organisation of this meeting and the warm hospitality of the President, the government and the neighbourly and brotherly people of Turkmenistan, and I wish you all success.

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