MOSCOW, October 27 (RIA Novosti) - The special working group for the elaboration of the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea will hold its regular 16th session in Ashkhabad, says the communiquй of the working group's 15th session that came to an end in Moscow.

The document says that the timeframe of holding the session will be agreed upon via diplomatic channels.

During its sitting, the working group concluded the third article-by-article discussion of the draft Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea.

"The parties' positions have come closer to each other on some provisions of the draft," the communiquй says.

The session of the working group was attended by the delegations of all the five Caspian Sea states: Russia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

Russia notes the approximation of the positions of the littoral states on all the issues of defining the legal status of the Caspian Sea.

"A constructive dialogue was held during the discussion. We touched upon all the articles of the Convention, which is being elaborated. The parties' positions are coming closer to each other on all the issues," special envoy of the Russian President for international energy cooperation Igor Yusufov said.

According to him, the session discussed the issues of military activity in the Caspian Sea, the division of resources and the preparation of sectoral agreements. "This session places large responsibility upon us as it is being held on the eve of the second Caspian summit of the Presidents in Teheran. The parties are now agreeing on the time limits of holding this summit," Mr. Yusufov said.

"We are satisfied with the position of our colleagues who demonstrate a constructive approach and wish the approximation of positions," he said.

In his turn, authorized representative of the President of Iran for the Caspian Sea status Mahdi Safari considers it expedient to hold the summit of the littoralstates in Iran, even if the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea is not prepared.

"If the Convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea is not prepared by this time [the time of holding the summit], there are still issues of regional cooperation and security, which can be discussed.

On his part, Azerbaijan's deputy Foreign Minister Khalaf Khalafov noted that the session had created a good basis to resolve some difficult problems in the future and reach accords on them. "We shall talk about the need to intensify the work of the group," Mr. Khalafov said. The working group has "points of contact" on some issues," he added.

Speaking about the summit of the heads of state to be held in Tehran, Mr. Khalafov said that by the time of the summit, "it is necessary to agree on those fundamental aspects, on which the Presidents can take substantiated decisions."

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