Rutte, Obama agree on MH17 investigation
Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte spoke with American President Barack Obama about the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash in Ukraine on Thursday night.
According to the Telegraaf, Obama called Rutte to express his grief about the incident, and to press the urgency of a thorough investigation. The Netherlands government information service (Rijksvoorlichtingsdienst) states that the leaders agreed that it is crucial for access to the site of the crash be granted for this investigation.
Obama further offered assistance in the line of investigation, to allow for "a quick, thorough, trustworthy and unhindered international investigation", The White House said in a statement.
As of now, there is no clarity whether there were any Americans on the flight. The current official statement from Malaysia Airlines states that there are still 41 passengers yet to be identified.
Rutte admits that there is still a lack of clarity in this event. After a crisis meeting at the Ministry of Security and Justice, the Prime Minister said that families of the victims have a right to know all the facts. Unlike with the last Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 that disappeared without a trace and without clues, there is pressure for details on the facts of this flight's misfortune to become transparent from the beginning.
The discovery of both black boxes from the flight should help connect more dots in this tragedy, then. The first black box was found by rebels who rule the area, according to BNR. Press office Reuters reports that the second black box has been found in the East of Ukraine by rescue workers.
The Russian government also has yet to issue a statement on this event. Several theories on the exact cause of the flight's crash are now pinning political groups tied to the Russia-Ukraine crisis, though it is almost certain that the aircraft was blown out of the sky by a rocket. Rutte does not want to speculate on this, however. His first priority is to contact the surviving families of the Dutch victims. The bodies of victims need to be repatriated as soon as possible, Rutte said.
Families of Dutch victims are able to contact Malaysia Airlines on +31703487770 for details.