Historical background to the document "Speech of the Azerbaijan President Heydar Aliyev at the summit of the heads of the near-Caspian states (April 24, 2002)"

The summit of the pre-Caspian countries for determining the legal status of the Caspian Sea was held in Ashgabat, capital of Turkmenistan, on April 23-24, 2002. The meeting held in Ruhiyyat Palace and attended by Heydar Aliyev (Azerbaijan), Saparmurat Niyazov (Turkmenistan), Mohammad Khatami (Islamic Republic of Iran), Nursultan Nazarbayev (Kazakhstan) and Vladimir Putin (Russian Federation) was the first summit of the littoral countries. The contradictory positions of the countries, which gained possession of the Caspian Sea after the collapse of the Soviet Union, has obstacled such a meeting for a long time.

Among the five littoral countries, Azerbaijan demonstrates the most constructive, consistent and scientifically grounded position. Azerbaijan consistently declares that each littoral state has sovereignty over its own sector (both seabed and surface) divided by the median line. The Caspian Sea must be divided into sectors, and the rights of each country over its own sector be protected by the norms of international law.

Decisively stating this position in the Constitution adopted by a popular referendum on November 12, 1995, Azerbaijan considers the relevant Caspian sector an integral part of its territory.

“90 Instants of the Great leader”, Heydar Aliyev Heritage research center, “Sharq-Qarb”, Baku-2013, p.208