Reps from 10 countries meet on MH17

koenders-mh17-16-april-2015
Ministers Bert Koenders and Ard van der Steur leading the meeting with representatives of countries affected by the MH17 disaster (Picture: Rijksoverheid)Ministers Bert Koenders and Ard van der Steur leading the meeting with representatives of countries affected by the MH17 disaster (Picture: Rijksoverheid)

On Thursday Minister Bert Koenders of Foreign Affairs and Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice had a meeting with representatives of the countries who had passengers on flight MH17. The meeting took place in the margins of the cyber conference at the World Forum in The Hague.

The meeting was attended by ministers from the most affected countries, Australia, Ukraine and Malaysia, as well as representatives from more than 10 other countries. "All these countries are already normally in close contact with each other, but it is good to also take this opportunity to once again talk personally and substantively about the events since the disaster." Koenders said.

Among other things, the attendees were updated on the progress of the repatriation mission. A small group of experts is currently at the scene working to salvage the last mortal remains and personal belongings at the crash site.

The ministers also reiterated that the Dutch cabinet's three main priorities remain unchanged. "For us the repatriation of remains and personal belongings, investigation in to the cause of the crash and finding the perpetrators stand first." Van der Steur said. "Now that we have come so far with the repatriation, the investigation and prosecution is more central."

The ministers believe that finding and prosecuting those responsible for the disaster is important for the whole world, not only the countries that had people on board. "Aviation is fragile and any breach of security is a globally shared concern", Koenders said. "Therefore it is important that the Public Prosecutor and the Safety Board can do their work independently and undisturbed."

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