From May 21 to 24, 2018, Astana hosted the 51st meeting of the Special Working Group on the development of the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea at the level of deputy foreign ministers of the Caspian littoral states (SWG).
The delegations of the Republic of Azerbaijan (headed by Khalaf Khalafov), the Islamic Republic of Iran (headed by Ebrahim Rahimpour), the Republic of Kazakhstan (headed by Zulfia Amanzholova), the Russian Federation (headed by Igor Bratchikov) and Turkmenistan (headed by Murad Atadzhanov) participated in the negotiations.
The meeting, which was devoted to the preparation for the Fifth Caspian Summit, scheduled to be held this year in the Republic of Kazakhstan, was opened by the statement of Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kairat Abdrakhmanov.
The participants of the SWG meeting agreed on the provisional agenda and the draft political outcome document of the forthcoming Summit, as well as discussed progress in the coordination of draft five-sided sectoral documents and preparation for their signing at the Fifth Caspian Summit, along with the Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea.
The completion of negotiations on the following drafts of five-sided documents was noted with satisfaction: the Agreement between the Governments of the Caspian Littoral States on Transport Cooperation, the Agreement between the Governments of the Caspian Littoral States on Trade and Economic Cooperation, the Agreement on Prevention of Incidents in the Caspian Sea, the Protocol on Cooperation in Combating Terrorism in the Caspian Sea, the Protocol on Cooperation in Combating Organized Crime in the Caspian Sea, the Protocol on Cooperation and Interaction of Border Agencies to the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Security in the Caspian Sea.
The participants welcomed the proposal to hold the extraordinary session of the Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Caspian Sea in this July in Moscow, as well as the intention to adopt and sign the Protocol on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context to the said Convention within the framework of this session.
The delegations commended the outcomes of the talks and expressed their gratitude to the Republic of Kazakhstan for the high level of organization of the meeting.
The next meeting of the Special Working Group will take place in the Republic of Kazakhstan. The timeframe will be coordinated through diplomatic channels.