PM to leaders: create a regional fire fighting force

Netanyahu speaks to leaders of Greece, Russia, Egypt, Jordan and PA; says cooperation will better prepare region to deal with disasters.

Netanyahu Greeks 311 (photo credit: Associated Press)
Netanyahu Greeks 311
(photo credit: Associated Press)
Following the international assistance given to Israel to help put out the Carmel Forest fire, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke to a number of leaders Tuesday in an effort to establish a regional fire fighting force to provide assistance where needed.
“The assistance that was given to Israel last week should serve as a model for additional cooperation in our region,” Netanyahu said. “By pooling our resources and knowledge of our countries we can better prepare and respond to natural disasters that hit our region,” he said in conversations with Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Palestinian Authority president Mahmud Abbas.
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Netanyahu said the cooperation evident last week should give hope to all those “searching and wanting peace. I am sure that Turkey, and other countries in our region, will also join in.”
Papandreou, according the statement put out by the Prime Minster’s Office, suggested holding a meeting on this matter in Athens.
In a related matter, Netanyahu announced Tuesday evening that the aerial firefighting force that Israel will set up in the wake of the Carmel blaze will be named Elad, after 16-year-old volunteer firefighter Elad Riban who was killed in the fire last Thursday afternoon.