The President of Cyprus Nikos Christodoulides pledged on Monday that his government will finance the reforestation of the island of Rhodes, Greece which has been devastated by the recent wildfire.
Nikos Christodoulides’ announcement came after his meeting with Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis who visited Nicosia for the first time since his re-election in June.
The Cypriot President revealed that there has been enormous interest by private individuals and companies to help in the reforestation effort on the Greek island.
The wildfires that raged for 10 days straight on the island of Rhodes destroyed a virgin forest and led to the evacuation of thousands of tourists.
The state of emergency declared in Rhodes on July 20 following the destructive wildfires that ravaged the island was lifted on Saturday, the Ministry of Climate Crisis and Civil Protection announced.
Residents and visitors received a notification from the emergency number 112 to return safely to their places of residence.
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Cyprus and Greece stress need for further cooperation
Christodoulides and Mitsotakis stressed that further cooperation between Cyprus and Greece is needed.
“We will also announce some concrete decisions, actions that will prove our strong conviction for further cooperation,” Christodoulides said, welcoming the Greek prime minister to Cyprus. “I am sure that our excellent cooperation will continue and will be strengthened even more today.”
Mitsotakis responded: “The cooperation between the two governments is excellent and we will try to build an even more institutionally solid framework for how we work together.”
Christodoulides added that Mitsotakis’ presence in Cyprus is not only of symbolic importance, especially at the present moment, taking into account all these challenges but also opportunities that are before the governments to see how Cyprus and Greece can jointly prove what they really want, which is to be pillars of security and stability in the region.
The president said that both countries are of geostrategic importance and “we want to work with all our neighbors without excluding anyone at all, as long as we work with a positive approach and always with respect for international law.”
Mitsotakis thanked Christodoulides for the warm welcome and said “I regret that I had to postpone this trip for a few days as we had to face very difficult situations at home with the fires we had to manage last week.”
However, he added: “It is not just my obligation, but I would say a practical recognition of this unique relationship between Greece and Cyprus, the fact that the first official bilateral trip of the new Greek prime minister always takes place here in Cyprus.”