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Abbott to make MH17 mission

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Prime Minister Tony Abbott will travel to the Netherlands to meet his Dutch counterpart, Mark Rutte, as the victims of Malaysia Airlines flight 17 continue to be identified.

The Dutch government has issued a brief statement announcing Mr Abbott will visit The Hague on Monday to meet the prime minister and sign a condolence book.

“Over the past few weeks, the Netherlands and Australia have been working together closely to repatriate and identify all the victims as soon as possible,” the statement said.

“Following the meeting (with Mr Rutte), Prime Minister Abbott will sign the book of condolence for the Dutch victims of the disaster.”

Earlier on Friday, it was revealed forensic experts working in Hilversum in the Netherlands had identified a further 21 victims of flight MH17.

Only two bodies had previously been identified, both Dutch nationals.

The 21 additional victims comprise 16 Dutch, including a dual British national, two Malaysians, a German, a Canadian and a Briton.

The search for body parts at the crash site in eastern Ukraine has been suspended due to escalating clashes between Ukrainian forces and pro-Russia separatists.

Two military transporters arrived in the southern Dutch city of Eindhoven on Friday carrying 142 police experts from the Netherlands, Australia and Malaysia.

On Thursday, Mr Abbott attended a national day of mourning service in Melbourne, where he told passengers’ relatives: “You have not been abandoned and you never will be.”