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'Maximum cooperation' demanded on MH17: Dutch PM

17 october 2014, 11:27
0
Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte. © AFP
Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte. © AFP

 Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has met Russian President Vladimir Putin to demand "maximum cooperation" in the probe into doomed Malaysia flight MH17, the Dutch top politician has said, AFP reports.

"I have just spoken to President Putin in Milan and demanded maximum cooperation in resolving the MH17 disaster," Rutte said in a tweet, posted on social networking site Twitter late on Thursday night.

Dutch media said Rutte spoke to Putin on the sidelines at the high-level Asia-Europe (ASEM) summit which opened on Thursday in Milan.

"It is an emotional subject and of course I am angry at all parties who have made it impossible to start work in at the crash site," Rutte also wrote on his Facebook page.

"But it's now up to us to reach our goal. I'll use every opportunity to highlight the issue," he added.

Four Dutch experts on Monday returned to the crash site in pro-Moscow rebel-held territory in eastern Ukraine, but Dutch officials including Rutte have lamented the lack of proper access to the wreck site.

Dutch forensic experts called off their search of the area in early August because of the ongoing fighting between Kiev and pro-Russian separatists.

A fragile truce has been agreed in the area, with Ukrainian and Russian officials trying to shore up the ceasefire.

Flight MH17 was shot down on July 17 while flying over insurgent-held territory in conflict-wracked eastern Ukraine killing all 298 passengers on board, 153 of them Dutch citizens.

The Netherlands is in charge of identifying the bodies and probing what caused the crash. A total of 272 of the dead have so far been identified.

The findings of an initial report by a Dutch-led team of air crash investigators appear to back up claims that the plane was hit by an anti-aircraft missile.

Kiev and the West have accused Moscow-backed separatists of shooting it down with a surface-to-air BUK missile supplied by Russia. Moscow denies the charge and has pointed the finger at Kiev.


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