Azerbaijan has pledged support to Turkey in its dispute with Greece over oil and gas exploration rights in the Aegean
On Wednesday (2 September), Azerbaijani president Ilham Aliyev received the credentials of the new Greek Ambassador to Baku, Nikolaos Piperigos. The presidential office in Baku issued an unusually detailed report of the exchange that followed. President Aliyev lamented that Azerbaijani-Greek relations had deteriorated during the Tsipiras government in Athens. He regretted the establishment of the Armenia-Greece-Cyprus trilateral co-operation and said this had an anti-Azerbaijan posture.
President Aliyev told the Greek envoy:
"The last issue I want to touch upon is the recent tension between Turkey and Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean region. I can tell you, and it is no secret, that Turkey is not only our friend and partner, but also a brotherly country for us. Without any hesitation whatsoever, we support Turkey and will support it in any circumstances. We see the same support from our Turkish brothers. They support Azerbaijan on all issues, and we support them on all issues, including the issue of exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean."
"I want you to know our position. This position has already been officially announced by the Azerbaijani government on my instructions. I can tell you again that Turkey is not only a friend but a brotherly country for us. The Turks are our brothers. So we will be with them in all matters."
photo: The presentation of the credentials of the Greek Ambassador to Azerbaijan on 2 September 2020 (Picture courtesy of the press service of the president of Azerbaijan).
They warn about the risk of destabilisation throughout the Caucasus and of a new humanitarian crisis.