Caspian Matters Excluded from Aktau Summit after Iran's Protest
TEHRAN (FNA)- Leaders of Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Azerbaijan announced that they would not discuss Caspian matters without Iran's presence at their meeting in the western Kazakh city of Aktau.
The decision came after Iran voiced its displeasure with the summit and announced that any decision on the Caspian Sea's legal regime requires a consensus of all littoral states, otherwise it would be unacceptable.
"I believe that all Caspian states must discuss Caspian matters, fulfill the proposals made at the Tehran summit and hold the next summit in Baku," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said at the Aktau forum on Friday.
He described the proposed Baku summit as "a productive idea", and said it was necessary to agree on fundamental parameters.
"The four presidents will not discuss Caspian matters today," Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev also said. "We discussed them at the Tehran summit and decided to meet again in Baku. I hope we will gather together with Iran and ponder pressing problems soon."
The Turkmen and Azerbaijani leaders voiced the similar views.
"It would be good to discuss Caspian issues between five states, including Iran. We have many other regional problems to discuss today," Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow said.
"The implementation of the Tehran summit decisions will lead to the successful resolution of problems in the Caspian Sea delimitation in the spirit of friendship and neighborliness," Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev said.
Last Wednesday, Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki underlined that "the meeting disagrees with the earlier decision to discuss and resolve any Caspian matters with the participation of five Caspian states. The Islamic Republic of Iran believes that the quadripartite meeting contradicts its interests".
At the same day, Iran's special envoy for the Caspian Sea affairs Mehdi Safari announced on Wednesday that "any decision adopted without the agreement of the littoral states about the legal regime of the Caspian Sea and its related issues would be valueless and unacceptable and would by no means be put into effect".