Cyprus will engage with other countries in the region to set up a mechanism to provide timely firefighting assistance, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis said on Monday.
Ahead of an anticipated busy summer, Nicosia has scrambled to fill a gap in firefighting means after EU sanctions froze the use of Russian fire-fighting aircraft traditionally leased every year to bolster local resources.
Responding to questions on fire-fighting aircraft due to be sent to the island soon, he said that agreement has been reached for two airplanes, while an agreement for two helicopters was imminent.
At the same, consultations are underway with other countries to cooperate should there be a big fire.
Kadis said that he would have consultations with ministers from countries in the region on the issue on Tuesday, on the sidelines of a ministerial meeting on climate change in Limassol.
Cyprus has contributed to extinguishing fires in other countries, and received help from abroad, he noted.
“What is being sought is for this help to come in a timely way, through a mechanism that will be set up, and our talks will focus on this aspect,” he added.