On Thursday afternoon (17 July) a Malaysian Airlines plane carrying just under 300 passengers and crew crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing everyone on board, including four Germans. The background to the crash remains unclear: the parties to the conflict in eastern Ukraine are blaming each other for shooting down the plane. Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is therefore calling for a speedy, independent investigation. It would, he said, be an “atrocity beyond all imagining” if one of the parties to the conflict were responsible for bringing down flight MH17.
During his visit to Mexico City, Foreign Minister Steinmeier issued another statement on Friday (18 July) on the MH17 crash in eastern Ukraine, saying:
If the investigations do actually show that one of the parties to the conflict has the lives of hundreds of perfectly innocent people on its conscience, it would be an atrocity beyond all imagining. No one responsible for such an atrocity any longer has any right to push for their own interests in the name of humanity.
Rendered speechless by the deaths of hundreds of innocent people
The German Foreign Minister therefore called for a “speedy, independent investigation into the crash”. He also said it was imperative that “the victims be treated with dignity”. On Thursday evening, shortly after arriving in Mexico, Steinmeier had already made it clear that he expected a rapid investigation into the incident.
During a press conference with his Mexican counterpart José Antonio Meade Kuribreña, Foreign Minister Steinmeier expressed his horror at the crash and extended his profound sympathy to the victims’ families.
Thanks to OSCE for its engagement on the ground
On Thursday evening Steinmeier sent a letter of condolence to his Malaysian colleague, Anifa Bin Haji Aman. In view of the fact that a large number of the victims came from the Netherlands, he also extended condolences to his Netherlands colleague, Frans Timmermans.
On Friday Foreign Minister Steinmeier also voiced his gratitude to the OSCE and its staff on the ground in eastern Ukraine: “heedless of their own safety” they had, he said, approached their task “determinedly and resolutely”.