"The two foreign ministers discussed various aspects of preparations for the Fifth Caspian Summit due in Kazakhstan, bearing in mind the decisions made by the top diplomats of the five Caspian states at the Moscow meeting on December 4-5, 2017," the statement reads.
For many years, agreements between the Russian Empire (later replaced by the Soviet Union) and Iran defined the legal status of the Caspian Sea. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan emerged as subjects of international law and it became necessary for the five countries to agree on the status of the Caspian Sea. The Caspian states continue to negotiate the details of a convention, which is planned to be presented to the heads of state at their summit in Kazakhstan.
The legal status of the Caspian Sea remains the key issue discussed at the regional countries’ summits. The five countries’ leaders held their first meeting in Turkmenistan’s capital of Ashgabat in 2002. The second Caspian summit was held in the Iranian capital of Tehran in 2007, while Azerbaijan’s capital of Baku hosted the third summit in 2010, and Russia’s Astrakhan hosted the fourth summit in 2014.
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