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Cyprus sends two firefighting aircraft to Greece

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Two firefighting aircraft and support staff are being sent to Greece through the EU’s Civil Protection Mechanism to assist in putting out wildfires, Cyprus’ Civil Defence said in a statement.

Following a decision by the Minister of Agriculture Petros Xenophontos, help is being sent to Greece through the European Union’s emergency assistance network to tackle forest fires in Alexandroupolis.

The assistance consists of two Air Tractor-type Forest Department aeroplanes with a four-member crew and a five-member ground support staff.

The team was expected to depart Monday for Alexandroupoli airport, where they will be briefed about their mission.

They were to depart from Paphos airport, while the flight schedule includes a stop at Rhodes for refuelling.

It will be the second such EU mission for these aircraft since mid-June 2023, according to which states receive funding to strengthen the means at their disposal to deal with disasters, with the commitment to use these means for the benefit of other Member States when needed.

“Cyprus has always responded to assist Greece and other neighbouring countries either through interstate agreements or within the framework of the Civil Protection Mechanism,” said Civil Defence.

Assistance was provided during huge wildfires in Greece last month.