ASTANA – Kazakh Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Murat Nurtleu reaffirmed the country’s commitment to advance five-lateral cooperation in the Caspian Sea during a Dec. 5 meeting of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Caspian littoral states in Moscow, reported the ministry’s press service.
Azerbaijan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Jeyhun Bayramov, Iran’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, Russia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Sergey Lavrov, and Turkmenistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Rashid Meredov attended the event.
The sides addressed the cooperation priorities and tasks to implement the instructions of the presidents of the Caspian states.
“The Caspian Sea is a unique ecosystem, and its condition directly impacts nature and life in all littoral countries. Therefore, today, our common task is to ensure its environmental safety,” Nurtleu emphasized, reiterating that Kazakhstan is set to create the Caspian Sea Research Institute by the end of this year.
Nurtleu noted the effective development of the Caspian region and highlighted the growth of mutual trade between Kazakhstan and the Caspian states, which reached $18 billion in eight months this year.
According to him, advancing investment partnerships in agriculture, mechanical engineering, petrochemicals, healthcare, and tourism opens up excellent prospects.
Nurtleu also focused on creating a mechanism for arms control in the Caspian basin, which would ensure their balance and the quantitative and qualitative limits agreed upon by the parties. Nurtleu encouraged his counterparts to continue work on an agreement on confidence-building measures in the military sphere in the Caspian Sea.
Following the event, the ministers adopted a joint statement and agreed to hold the next meeting in Turkmenistan in 2024.
As part of the event, Nurtleu held talks with Iran’s Foreign Minister Amir-Abdollahian to discuss Kazakh-Iranian cooperation and tasks for the future and exchange views on current international and regional agendas.
Nurtleu emphasized that Iran is one of Kazakhstan’s key regional partners, and both countries have fraternal relations based on cultural and historical heritage.
The sides focused on intensifying trade, economic, and investment ties. The parties agreed on the need to take concrete steps to implement the existing potential and make joint efforts to promote mutually beneficial relations. Nurtleu said Kazakhstan is ready to expand the list of exported products to Iran by 75 commodity items worth $250 million.