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    CASPIAN STATUS: FOREIGN MINISTERS TO WORK ON FOR JUST SETTLEMENT

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    MOSCOW, APRIL 6 (RIA NOVOSTI) - Littoral countries' Foreign Ministers will work on for just settlement of all Caspian status disputes, says Sergei Lavrov, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    "We agreed upon it between ourselves to carry on efforts on such status aspects that still remain unsettled. We are determined to achieve their just settlement on the basis of general accord, and universally recognized standards and principles of the international law," he said to the media following a foreign-ministerial conference of the Caspian countries.

    The conferees approved, on the whole, efforts of the littoral countries' ad hoc team at the level of Deputy Foreign Ministers.

    At the same time, the conference highlighted differences persisting on certain key issues of the Caspian status.

    A final conference communique greets a framework convention, signed in Teheran, on Caspian maritime environment and wildlife protection. The document calls all involved Parties to be as quick as possible with domestic governmental procedures to bring the convention into force.

    The conference called to pace up work toward agreements on littoral countries' partnership in particular economic branches. The appeal came in the context of the Caspian legal status convention, presently being drafted.

    The Foreign Ministers emphasized combat against international terrorism, aggressive separatism, organized crime, drug traffic and other threats and challenges as essential fields of Caspian partnership, added Mr. Lavrov.

    As the conferees were analyzing current Caspian negotiations, they pointed out considerable progress of coordinating the legal status convention, said the minister.

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