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Cyprus, Lebanon pledge firefighting pact

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Cyprus will stand by Lebanon to combat wildfires and vice versa, pledged the Defence, Agriculture and Justice ministers.

They gathered in Larnaca to thank the neighbouring country for its air assistance during the large Limassol fire that destroyed 9 square km.

The ceremony was held at the Joint Rescue Coordination Center organized by the Defence Ministry.

Defence Minister Michalis Giorgallas said, “Through difficult moments and operations, Cyprus’ relationships with its neighbours are strengthened.

“This was also the case with the fire in Limassol, and the response of the Lebanese Government to assist the Cypriot Republic further enhanced the relationship between our countries.

“In the same way, when Lebanon needs it, Cyprus will stand by Lebanon and its people”.

Minister of Agriculture Petros Xenophontos said: “The presence of friends from Lebanon was certainly very significant, as it reinforced the aerial resources in combating the recent fire.

“We thank them and wish them a safe journey back to their country.”

Minister of Justice Anna Koukkides-Procopiou said: “We are here to thank the crews from Lebanon, the team of pilots and technicians.

“It is very important to strengthen the bonds of friendship with our neighbours, and this ceremony demonstrates the usefulness of good neighbourly relations and helps us deepen and expand them even further.”

The Attache of the Lebanese Embassy in Nicosia, Queen Maryl Salame Ghayadi, said the continuous cooperation between Cyprus and Lebanon extended to firefighting.

She said: “I am very proud of the Lebanese army who did this mission over here.

“Lebanon is always next to Cyprus as Cyprus is always next to Lebanon”.