Publishe Date: 10:41 PM - 4/22/2014 | Print

FM: Iran Favors Peace, Stability in Caspian Region

Politics - Tehran is in favor of strengthening peace and stability in the Caspian region, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said, stressing that military presence of the trans-regional states in the region is not wanted or accepted.

"Maintaining the Caspian Sea as a waterway of peace, friendship and stability; refraining from arms race; giving up the use of force and the inadmissibility of non-littoral military presence are the major prerequisites for guaranteeing peace and stability in the region," Zarif said, addressing a ministerial meeting of the five Caspian Sea littoral states - Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan - in Moscow on Tuesday.

"Security itself will facilitate economic prosperity," he said.

Zarif said he was satisfied with the endorsement of an agreement on security in the region, and added, "We would like to reach mutual understanding on ways of construction and military cooperation (in the region)."

"Unfortunately, certain non-regional actors consider the Caspian Sea as the only source of oil and gas and forget about the environment," Zarif said.

"Iran believes that it is necessary to take steps that would meet long-term and joint multilateral interests," he added.

A new status of the Caspian Sea must meet the needs and expectations of the littoral countries’ people, Zarif said.

Zarif arrived in Moscow on Monday to attend the Caspian Sea littoral states' ministerial meeting.

The participating members will discuss regional affairs as well as multilateral and bilateral relations.

Following the present ministerial meeting, the Caspian Sea littoral states’ leaders will convene in a meeting in the Russian port city of Astrakhan in September 2014.

The Caspian Sea littoral states have been debating their share in the Caspian Sea legal regime since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

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