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Russian, Iranian, Azerbaijani Presidents To Meet In Baku

Left to right: Russian President Vladimir Putin, Iranian President Hassan Rohani, and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev

The presidents of Russia, Iran, and Azerbaijan are expected to hold talks in Baku early next month.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Ebrahim Rahimpour said on July 13 that Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rohani will meet with Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev in the Azerbaijani capital on August 8.

The statement comes one day after Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the three leaders would soon meet in what he called "a new format of regional cooperation."

The agenda is expected to include economic cooperation, bilateral relations, and discussion on the Convention on the Caspian Sea document, which would define ownership of the Caspian among its littoral states.

Lavrov on July 13 said progress had been made toward reaching agreement on the convention, expressing hope the document could be signed in 2017.

But there are still differences about wording of the document that would impact oil-drilling rights of Caspian states.

Lavrov made the comment after talks in Astana with the foreign ministers of the other four Caspian states: Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Iran, and Turkmenistan.

Based on reporting by TASS and Interfax