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World leaders react to MH17 crash

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World leaders reacted to news of the Malaysian Airlines crash with a mix of shock, dismay and anger. While Ukraine president, Petro Poroshenko, blamed the crash on a terrorist attack, his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin offered his sympathies to the families of victims and Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, pledged “no stone will be left unturned” to learn what happened.

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“The Ukrainian authorities believe that the plane was shot down,” Mr Razak said. “At this stage however Malaysia is unable to verify the cause of this crash but we must and we will find out precisely what happened.”

He added: “If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be bought to justice.”

Australian Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, echoed Mr Razak saying if reports of the plane being shot down were true it would be “an unspeakable crime”.

“We are profoundly concerned that the plane may have been shot down,” Mr Abbott said. “If this was a crime a crime rather than an accident, it’s an unspeakable crime and the perpetrators must be brought to justice.”

Here’s how the world reacted:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott

This looks less like an accident than a crime. If so, perpetrators must be brought to justice,” Mr Abbott told Parliament on Friday.

“I can inform the house that as quickly as possible, Australia will be working at the United Nations Security Council for a binding resolution, calling for full and impartial investigation into the site with full access to the site, full access to the wreckage and full access to the black box.”

Speaking of the victims, Mr Abbott told ABC Radio on Friday: “This is a terrible tragedy for them, their loved ones, their families.”

“My deepest, deepest condolences to everyone connected with people on this flight.”

Tony Abbott speaks about the Malaysia Airlines flight in Parliament.

Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko

“This is not an incident or catastrophe, it is a terrorist attack.

“We do not exclude that the plane was shot down and confirm that the Ukraine Armed Forces did not fire at any targets in the sky.”

Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak

“I am shocked by reports that an MH plane crashed. We are launching an immediate investigation.

“The aircraft did not make a distress call.

“Malaysia airlines is in the process of notifying the next of kin of the passengers and crew.

“All possible care will be provided to the next of kin.

“The government of Malaysia is dispatching a special flight to Kiev carrying a special Malaysia disaster response team and medical team.

“The Ukrainian authorities believe that the plane was shot down. At this stage however Malaysia is unable to verify the cause of this crash but we must and we will find out precisely what happened.

“No stone will be left unturned.

“If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be bought to justice.

“He (the Ukrainian President) has pledged that there will be a full. thorough and independent investigation and Malaysian officials will be invited to take part.

“The Ukrainian president also confirmed that this government will negotiate with rebels in the east of the country in order to established a humanitarian corridor.

“The investigation must not be hindered in any way.

“No one should interfere with the area.

“The passengers and crew came from many different countries but today regardless of nationality we are all united in grief.”

Spokesman for Russian president Vladimir Putin

“The President of Russia asked the Prime Minister of Malaysia to convey his deepest sympathy and support to the victims’ families.

US president Barack Obama

“The world is watching reports of a downed passenger jet near the Russia/Ukraine border, and it looks like it may be a terrible tragedy.

“I have directed my national security team to stay in close contact with the Ukrainian government. The United States will offer any assistance we can to help determine what happened and why.

“And as a country, our thoughts and prayers are with all the families of the passengers, wherever they call home.”

US president Barack Obama addresses the tragedy.
US president Barack Obama addresses the tragedy.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

“The Ukranian government has been quick to blame it on terrorists,” Mrs Clinton said in a televise interview. “There is some evidence that it had to be Russian insurgents. If there is evidence pointing in that direction, the equipment had to have come to Russia.”

“There is a great deal of concern that not only was a civilian plane shot down but what this means about the continuing conflict in eastern Ukraine and the role that Russia is playing.

“There should be outrage in European capitals.”

Malaysia Airlines

“Malaysia Airlines confirms it received notification from Ukrainian ATC that it had lost contact with flight MH17 at 1415 (GMT) at 30km from Tamak waypoint, approximately 50km from the Russia-Ukraine border.

“Flight MH17 operated on a Boeing 777 that departed Amsterdam at 12.15pm (Amsterdam local time) and was estimated to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at 6.10 am (Malaysia local time) the next day.

“The flight was carrying 280 passengers and 15 crew onboard.”


“Our thoughts and prayers are with those on board the Malaysia Airlines airplane lost over Ukrainian airspace, as well as their families and loved ones.

“Boeing stands ready to provide whatever assistance is requested by authorities.”