Deal reached with rebels for access to MH17 site: Malaysian premier

DPA Kuala Lumpur | Updated on November 25, 2017

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said on Sunday that an agreement has been reached with pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine to give international police access to the crash site of the downed Malaysia Airlines plane.

The agreement was reached with separatist leader Alexander Borodai.

The Malaysian leader had earlier been able to persuade him to turn over the black boxes of flight MH17.

Najib said earlier in the day: “I am deeply concerned that international investigators have been unable to properly deploy to the crash site because of the volatile security situation.”

“I hope that this agreement with Mr Borodai will ensure security on the ground, so the international investigators can conduct their work.”

The United States, Ukraine and European countries have accused Moscow-backed rebels of firing at the Boeing 777, alleging there is also evidence to suggest Russian-made surface-to-air missiles were used in the jetliner’s downing that killed all 298 people on board.

The separatists control access to the crash site, and countries such as the Netherlands and Australia have been pushing for unfettered access to the area.

Najib has spoken to the prime ministers of the Netherlands and Australia, a statement from his office said, and the three countries agreed to work closely together in deploying police personnel.

On Wednesday, 68 Malaysian police personnel will leave Kuala Lumpur for the crash site in eastern Ukraine as part of the international deployment.

There were 194 Dutch citizens, 43 Malaysian citizens and 37 Australian nationals and residents on the plane that went down on July 17, near Ukraine’s border with Russia, while en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.

Published on July 27, 2014

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