Caspian Sea littoral states to discuss prevention of foreign interference in region: President Raeisi
Iran's President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi has warned of foreign interference in the region, saying that in his visit to Ashgabat, he will discuss ways to counter the issue with the Caspian Sea littoral states.
“In addition to the Caspian [Sea] legal regime, all littoral states underline cooperation in the field of transportation, management of the resources of the Caspian Sea, and the prevention of the presence of foreigners,” Raeisi said.
The Caspian Sea littoral states will be discussing ways to prevent foreign interference, he told reporters on Wednesday morning before departing Tehran for the Turkmen capital to attend the 6th summit of the heads of state of the Caspian Sea littoral states.
According to Press TV, President Raeisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin are scheduled to hold a meeting during their visit to Ashgabat later on Wednesday.
The meeting would be the second between the two presidents since Raeisi took office in August 2021. They first met in Moscow in January 2022.
Raeisi is also scheduled to hold separate meetings with his counterparts from the other three participating countries in the summit, namely Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, and Azerbaijan.
The meeting of the foreign ministers of these countries was held on Tuesday to review cooperation in the Caspian Sea.
Addressing the meeting, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the Islamic Republic has always supported the establishment of a mechanism for collective efforts toward ensuring security in the strategic Caspian Sea region and promoting economic cooperation among its five littoral states.
“This issue is very important in terms of security and national interests of all littoral states of the Caspian Sea,” Amir-Abdollahian said.
The legal status of the Caspian Sea – the largest inland body of water in the world – has been the subject of fraught negotiations for over two decades since the Soviet Union's collapse.
There are an estimated 48 billion barrels of oil and 292 trillion cubic feet (8.3 trillion cubic meters) of natural gas in proven and probable reserves in the Caspian basins and its surrounding area.
The Caspian Sea is also the natural breeding ground for the best sturgeon species including the giant beluga fish from which one of the world’s priciest delicacies, caviar, is extracted.