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Jordan offers Cyprus firefighting aircraft

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Jordan’s King Abdullah II has offered to station firefighting aircraft in Cyprus through the summer fire season.

Minister Ioannis Kasoulides thanked the Jordanian monarch following talks with his Jordanian counterpart, Ayman Safadi.

King Abdullah’s offer comes two weeks after Kasoulides pitched to his Greek and Israeli counterparts the creation of an east Mediterranean firefighting hub aimed at quickly addressing huge summer wildfires that could overwhelm any country.

Kasoulides made the proposal during a virtual meeting of the three countries’ top diplomats and U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, aimed at closer cooperation on energy, the economy, climate action, emergency preparedness and counterterrorism.

In recent years, Cyprus, Greece, and Israel have often assisted each other by sending firefighting teams, gear, and aircraft to help combat massive wildfires.

They assisted Cyprus in tackling the island’s largest and deadliest wildfire last summer.

Nicosia’s proposal would streamline and speed up the dispatching of such assistance. Last year, Greece also struggled to fight massive wildfires, which Cyprus also sent assistance.

Cyprus, Jordan, and Greece have a trilateral cooperation arrangement to strengthen their defence and security ties.

Visiting Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said Thursday that Jordan was looking forward to broadening the horizons of cooperation, which would have positive consequences for both countries, including energy insecurity.

He said that Jordan considers “we are on the right track” with firm steps for further cooperation.

The two countries have concluded several agreements that ensure a good and attractive environment for investment and the avoidance of double taxation.