Minister of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment Costas Kadis went to the airport of Larnaka Friday to thank the teams of the firefighting aircraft that arrived from Israel and helped put out the large fire in the Turkish-occupied area of Kantara.
In statements to CNA, the Minister said "I wanted to express our gratitude to Israel, the crew of the aircraft that responded immediately after the call for help made by the Cypriot government and who contributed very substantially in extinguishing the fire in occupied Kantara."
He added that based on the information available, the situation was very difficult and both Cyprus' and Israel's aircraft played a very important role in containing the fire."
"We are always ready to assist, whenever our country is in need since our homeland is not limited to the free part of Cyprus," he noted.
He said that the Republic had also expressed its willingness to send ground forces to battle the fire in Kantara but no such request was made.
Through these actions, he pointed out, the cooperation of Cyprus with Israel is strengthened since the two countries face the same risks and recalled that last year Cyprus sent firefighting aircraft to Israel.
The Minister also told CNA that beginning of July he will travel to Israel and one of the issues he will discuss with his counterpart will be ways to strengthen relations between the two countries in terms of cooperation to combat forest fires.