Armenian Prime Minister joins a meeting with his Greek counterpart...

Armenian Prime Minister joins a meeting with his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis, not pictured, at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Credit: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis

ATHENS, Greece — NATO member Greece said Tuesday it wants to help traditional ally Armenia shift alliances westward, arguing that improved ties with the European Union would boost stability in the troubled Caucasus region.

Armenia, which has close military and trade ties with Russia, is reeling from a border conflict with neighbor Azerbaijan in recent years. Last year, more than 100,000 ethnic Armenians fled from an Azerbaijani military offensive in the breakaway Karabakh region in Azerbaijan to Armenia.

Angering Moscow, Armenia last year held a joint military exercise with the United States and also pledged to speed up reforms aimed at strengthening its partnership with the EU.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitstoakis on Tuesday told his visiting Armenian counterpart, Nikol Pashinian, that his government hoped to assist in that process.

“We fully support Armenia’s orientation toward the West,” Mitsotakis said. “It is natural, as a member of the European Union and NATO, that our country is ready to contribute with know-how and experience to building this new liberal democracy.”

Pashinian thanked Mitsotakis for his government’s support in forging new EU-Armenia partnership talks agreed on earlier this month that outlined rule-of-law reforms planned in Armenia as well as EU-backed investment programs.

“Our cooperation (with the EU) has already yielded results and I am sure that in the near future, these results will become more visible,” Pashinian told reporters.

Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, right, and his Armenian counterpart...

Greece's Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, right, and his Armenian counterpart Nikol Pashinyan talk during their meeting at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece, Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024. Credit: AP/Thanassis Stavrakis

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