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A draft convention on the status of the Caspian Sea has been 60%-70% coordinated
A draft convention on the status of the Caspian Sea has been 60%-70% coordinated, according to Khoshgeldy Babayev, chairman of the state enterprise for the issues of the Caspian Sea under the Turkmen President. Mr. Babayev opened the session of the Special Working Group for working out a Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspian Sea. Some of the principle articles, such as the division of the sea's water area, bottom, mineral wealth, the laying of pipelines and cables, the transit of ships and the presence of armed forces, have not yet been coordinated. Matters of less importance have been partially coordinated, Mr. Babayev said. Delegations from all five Caspian countries (Turkmenistan, Russia, Iran, Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan) have arrived to attend the forum in Ashkhabad. They are headed by deputy foreign ministers or special representatives for the Caspian Sea. Special representative of the Russian president, Igor Yusufov arrived in Ashkhabad on Thursday evening. "Russia expects an answer from its Caspian partners to the proposals concerning the Caspian Sea's biological resources and national zone determination to ensure security." Russia is against the presence of the armed forces in the Caspian Sea except those belonging to the five Caspian states. The Special Working Group session will last until January 29.
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