27 August, 2007
A total of 31 aircraft from EU member-states, Norway and Israel have already arrived in fire-ravaged Greece or are headed to the country as of Sunday afternoon, the foreign ministry announced, following Athens’ urgent request from its allies for support to deal with an hellacious wave of wildfires in southern Greece. Crews of fire-fighters, from France and Cyprus, have also joined efforts on the ground. Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis also said that Athens has been in communication with Washington and Moscow for additionally assistance.
Cypriot Democratic Rally (DHSY) party leader Nikos Anastasiades has addressed letters to Greek President Karolos Papoulias and Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis, conveying his party's undivided solidarity to the Greek people.
DHSY's alternate spokesman said that from now on Mediterranean countries must assume an initiative and raise the issue at the European Union's relevant intitutions of joint handling of major disasters.
In another development, Israel announced that it send 25 fire-fighers with equipment to Greece to help in combatting the wild-fires, according to an announcement by the Israeli foreign mi-nistry.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday expressed his condolences to his Greek counterpart Costas Karamanlis over destructive wildfires plaguing the country and the loss of life, according to the Turkish news agency "Anadolu".
Turkey is also experiencing a wave of wildfires, but not to the extent experienced in neighbouring Greece.
Source: Athens News Agency