By Ahmet Gencturk
ANKARA (AA) - Greece's premier on Saturday voiced prospects to improve bilateral relations with Azerbaijan, a major regional exporter of natural gas, local media reported on Saturday.
With its infrastructure and location, Greece can play a role key to the energy security and supply of the Balkans and Europe, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev in the Bulgarian capital Sofia to mark the opening of new pipeline carrying Azerbaijani gas to the Balkan nation.
While the possibility of cooperation in the energy sector was at the top of the meeting's agenda, the two leaders also discussed the latest developments in the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, as well as in the Eastern Mediterranean, according to state-run news agency AMNA reported.
This came despite remarks earlier on Tuesday by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, who, during a visit to Armenia, condemned what he called "Azerbaijani shelling of the Armenian territories," and expressed full solidarity with Armenia "against revisionist powers in the region."
More than 200 Armenian soldiers and 80 Azerbaijani personnel were killed in a flare-up last month, which ended with a truce widely welcomed by the international community.
The clashes were the latest between the two former Soviet republics, who have had tense relations since 1991 when the Armenian military occupied Nagorno-Karabakh, also known as Upper Karabakh -- a territory internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan.
Greece has historically maintained extensive military ties with Armenia which kept large portions of the Azerbaijani territory for about three decades until 2020, when a conflict saw Azerbaijan liberate several cities and more than 300 settlements and villages from Armenian occupation, ending in a deal brokered by Russia.