Greece and Azerbaijan yesterday signed in Athens a protocol of cooperation to strengthen the broader economic and trade relations between the two countries. Deputy Foreign Minister Evripidis Stylianidis and Azeri Economic Development Minister Hayder Babayev, who signed the protocol, made special reference to the Turkey-Greece-Italy pipeline that will transmit Azeri natural gas to Western Europe and will be inaugurated in the next few months by the Greek and Turkish prime ministers. «This pipeline is the application in practice of the main energy policy of the European Union, which is also Greece’s policy, for the diversification of energy sources, routes and forms,» said Stylianidis. Referring to the two countries’ cooperation, he said that Azerbaijan can become a reliable oil supplier and possibly a natural gas supplier if the quantities required are secured. Babayev branded «endless» the cooperation possibilities between the two countries, adding that Greece’s stance is very responsible by helping with the consolidation of cooperation in the energy sector. He also met with Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas, who proposed to Babayev the signing of a four-party interstate agreement between Greece, Turkey, Italy and Azerbaijan on all the details of the natural gas pipeline. Sioufas also proposed the signing of a Greek-Azeri agreement on oil and natural gas cooperation.