NATO minute of silence for Flight MH17
The closing session of the Parliamentary Assembly of NATO in the Hague today, will start with a minute of silence in memory of the victims of the MH17 plane crash in eastern Ukraine. "The shooting down of the plane was an unprecedented war crime", said Hugh Bayley, chairman of the Assembly. All 298 people on board the plane (including 196 Dutch) died in the disaster on July 17th. The 60th annual meeting of the Assembly started on Saturday. The relationship with Russia and the situation in the Ukraine are high on the agenda. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and the new Secretary General of NATO, Jens Stoltenberg, will speak at the meeting today. More than 700 people were expected to attend the international conference, including 350 parliamentarians from the 28 NATO countries and the 34 associated- or partner countries. The Assembly can give advice to NATO, but has no power. The last time the annual meeting took place in the Netherlands was in 1999 in Amsterdam.