Tehran, Jul 1 (IANS): Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has said that the Caspian Sea littoral states refused to allow any foreign presence in the region.
Raisi made the remarks on Thursday upon arrival at the airport in Tehran from his visit to Turkmenistan, in which he took part in the sixth summit of the Heads of state of the Caspian countries, according to the Iranian presidency's website.
The Caspian Sea's resources must be protected, he said, adding that the sea belongs to the regional countries and must be managed collectively by the littoral states, Xinhua news agency reported.
The Iranian President also called for greater cooperation among the Caspian Sea littoral states in the economic, cultural and environmental sectors.
Commenting on his meetings with the Azerbaijani, Turkmen and Russian Presidents on the sidelines of the summit, he said the talks focused on the expansion of bilateral economic and trade relations and the implementation of the previously signed memorandums of understanding.
Describing the visit as positive, Raisi said strengthening ties with neighbours is one of his administration's foreign policy priorities.
During a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, the Iranian President added that Tehran pursues engagement with Moscow within the framework of a strategic relationship.
Trade and energy relations between Iran and Russia are at a high level, he said, noting the relations still have great potential for expansion given the two sides' respective capacities.