Today I will travel to Ukraine with the Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans to meet with the Ukraine leadership in Kyiv to discuss the means of implementing the UN Security Council Resolution to secure the crash site of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.
Australia’s Special Envoy Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston will provide us with briefings on Australia’s support operations and we will meet the Australian Government inter-agency team responsible for Operation Bring Them Home.
The Australian Government is determined to establish the facts and obtain justice for the victims and their families.
More than 200 Australian officials from various agencies have been deployed to the Netherlands and Ukraine to support Operation Bring Them Home.
Yesterday I met with Dutch Prime Minister Rutte in The Netherlands to discuss progress on the international investigation.
With international agreement secured, a comprehensive international investigation has begun. Australia is working closely with our international partners including authorities in The Netherlands, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
I accompanied the Governor General, the Hon. Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC, to Eindhoven Air Force Base for a memorial ceremony yesterday held to mark the arrival of the first plane carrying the remains of the victims of MH17.
Australian forensics and Disaster Victim Identification specialists are in the Netherlands to assist with identification of the bodies. The Australian Government will do all it can to assist the repatriation of Australians on board as soon as possible to ease the pain of the families and friends who have lost loved ones.
Securing the crash site to allow access to international investigators is the next priority. At this stage the site remains under the control of Russian-backed separatists – access negotiations are underway. We stand ready to provide whatever support or resources are needed.
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