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Iran To Host Caspian Summit Next Year --> (RFE/RL) December 15, 2006 -- Iranian Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki today said the next summit of the five Caspian Sea states would take place in Tehran in the first quarter of 2007.

Mottaki, who is on a visit to Astana, said that Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev has already confirmed that he will attend.

The five Caspian nations -- Azerbaijan, Iran, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan -- have been negotiating a comprehensive sea border agreement since 1994, but the talks have so far brought no breakthrough.

Mottaki told reporters today that Iran will soon open a consulate in the Kazakh Caspian Sea port of Aktau and that Kazakhstan will in turn set up a consulate in the northern Iranian town of Gorgan.

The Iranian envoy has discussed joint economic projects with Kazakh officials, including the construction of a petrochemical plant in western Kazakhstan and an oil refinery in northern Iran.

The two countries are also considering building a grain terminal on Iran's Caspian Sea coast.

(Kazinform, Kazakhstan Today, IRNA, Fars)

The Post-Soviet Environment
The skull of a male saiga antelope in Kalmykia. Saiga numbers have collapsed disastrously over the last decade. (

THE FRAGILE PLANET: Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, old environmental disasters have come to light and new ones have emerged. War, poverty, and weak central-government control have led to serious environmental problems from Eastern Europe to the Russian Far East. RFE/RL has provided extensive coverage of these important issues and of efforts to cope with them.


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RFE/RL coverage of environmental issues.