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Unofficial summit in Aktau, Kazakhstan

By Messenger Staff
Monday, September 7
The Heads of State of four former Soviet Caspian Sea countries, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan, will meet in Aktau, Kazakhstan on September 13. Iran will be the only Caspian Sea bordering nation not present at the summit, which looks likely to discuss the question of the Caspian Seaís territorial status among other issues. Later this autumn an official summit of all five Caspian countries will be held in Baku whose main agenda item will be the adoption of a legal document on the Caspianís status.

In Aktau the recently strained relations between Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan will also most probably be discussed. The two countries are disputing some oil fields in the sea bed exploited by Azerbaijan which Turkmenistan claims are on its territory. Turkmenistan is ready to sue Azerbaijan in the international arbitration court and it has even decided to build a navy in the Caspian Sea to control its territorial waters through location and optical systems. Azerbaijan has responded to this intention by saying that it is ready to invite international forces to protect its interests, though it also said it is ready to make certain concessions on possible joint exploitation of some oil fields.

In August 2009, at a meeting in Astrakhan dedicated to Caspian cooperation, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev promoted the idea of creating a road map for Caspian countriesí cooperation and expressed a negative attitude towards attracting other forces from outside the region to the Caspian basin.