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Ahmadinejad, Medvedev meet in Baku

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has discussed bilateral ties with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the Caspian Sea summit.

In their Thursday meeting in the Azeri capital, Baku, the two presidents discussed issues related to the Caspian Sea and “important international matters,” Ahmadinejad’s official website reported.

The Iranian chief executive arrived in Baku on Wednesday to attend the third meeting of the leaders of Caspian littoral states in order to negotiate the legal regime of the sea and to discuss relations with Azeri officials.

The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed body of water on earth by area, variously classed as the world’s largest lake or a full-fledged sea.

The maritime and seabed boundaries of the Caspian Sea have yet to be demarcated among Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia and Turkmenistan — the five countries bordering the sea.

Despite extensive negotiations, the legal status of the Caspian Sea has been unclear since the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991.

The Caspian Sea legal regime is based on two agreements signed between Iran and the Soviet Union in 1921 and 1940.

Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan — the three new littoral states, established after the collapse of Soviet Russia — do not recognize the prior treaties, triggering a debate on the future status of the sea.

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