Von der Leyen to visit Cyprus wildfire zone

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European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen arrives in Cyprus on Wednesday for a two-day visit to meet firefighters in the wildfire area and deliver the government’s Recovery and Resilience Plan approval.

She will be received at Larnaca airport by Energy Minister Natasa Pilides.

Accompanied by President Nicos Anastasiades, von der Leyen will visit Ora Cultural Centre to meet a team of firefighters who battled the flames during last week’s devastating fire in the Limassol and Larnaca mountains.

Ora in Larnaca was the worst affected village in the island’s worst-ever blaze that killed four people.

On Thursday, the President and the European Commission chief will hold talks at the Presidential Palace.

Afterwards, von der Leyen will visit the University of Cyprus KIOS Research and Innovation Centre of Excellence as part of a European Recovery and Resilience Facility tour.

During her visit to the facility, she will be accompanied by President Anastasiades.

Von der Leyen will talk to young researchers and be briefed them about the pioneering work carried out at the Centre on intelligent systems and networks, contributing to Cyprus’ Recovery and Resilience Plan, such as green growth and digital transformation.

At the University Library, there will be a handover ceremony of the Approval of the Recovery and Sustainability Plan.

Later, the President and von der Leyen will go to the 3rd floor of the library building to view occupied Nicosia.

The research centre also develops smart electricity systems for renewable energy sources, intelligent water networks and smart transport systems to reduce fuel consumption.

KIOS produces high-quality research work and participates in many European research projects.

It develops technologies to make the country’s critical infrastructure smarter, more efficient, greener, and safer against cyber-attacks.

And it cooperates with critical infrastructure organisations with the ultimate goal of transferring knowledge and know-how for the benefit of Cyprus.

After she visits the University, von der Leyen will leave Cyprus for Croatia.