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Israeli ambassador honours Cypriot firefighting crews at Hanukah event

Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis lights a candle for Hanukah at the Israeli embassy in Nicosia in the presence of Ambassador to Cyprus Yael Ravia-Zadok

Israel`s Ambassador to Cyprus Yael Ravia-Zadok on Wednesday honoured the heads of the Cypriot delegations, from the forestry department, the fire service and the civil defence, who assisted in battling wildfires blazing across Israel in November.

According to an announcement from the embassy, the event took place amid celebrations for Hanukkah, the Jewish Feast of Lights. President Nicos Anastasiades was represented by the minister of agriculture Nicos Kouyialis, who lit the first candle on the traditional candle holder.

The lighting of candles in the presence of government officials, party leadership, members of the diplomatic corps, businessmen and prominent members of Cypriot society, was followed by an acknowledgment ceremony in honour of the fire-fighting cooperation between Cyprus and Israel.

“Here, today, we celebrate the actual manifestation of the message of Hanukah, which is the victory of Light over Darkness. Tonight we cherish the triumph of friendship and cooperation over times of hardship and crises. Having here, standing next to me, the people who stood by Israel at a time of need, is indeed the proof of a brighter and more meaningful partnership, consolidated even more in the past year,” said Ambassador Ravia-Zadok.

“Words cannot express our appreciation and gratitude for your assistance and readiness. The Cypriot support, the joint struggle, shoulder to shoulder, against the fires, just like the Israeli crew, who assisted in extinguishing the fires in Solea in June, cement our bilateral bonds and set a chapter to be marked in the book of our mutual commitment,” she added.

The ambassador said finally that she was looking towards 2017 with hope and a vision for peace, for both Cyprus and Israel, and that she was confident “that the strategic alliance between the two countries will develop even further”.

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