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Fri, 18 Jul 2014 03:18:39 +0000
(WASHINGTON) -- The United States is calling for a, "full, credible, and unimpeded" international investigation into the crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH317, with White House officials urging Russia, pro-Russian separatists, and Ukraine to support an immediate cease-fire.
The Obama administration addressed all parties involved, asking to, "ensure safe and unfettered access to the crash site for international investigators and in order to facilitate the recovery of remains," officials announced Thursday.
The aircraft traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was carrying 298 people when it was struck by a surface-to-air missile in Ukraine, a U.S. official told ABC News.
"While we do not yet have all the facts, we do know that this incident occurred in the context of a crisis in Ukraine that is fueled by Russian support for the separatists, including through arms, material, and training," a statement from the Press Secretary reads. "This incident only highlights the urgency with which we continue to urge Russia to immediately take concrete steps to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine and to support a sustainable cease-fire and path toward peace that the Ukrainian government has consistently put forward."
The United States is prepared to contribute any immediate assistance to the investigation, officials said, including help from the National Transportation Safety Board and FBI.
President Obama called Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday, assuring that U.S. experts will offer all possible assistance and also emphasizing that all evidence from the crash site must remain in place until examination is complete. He also placed a call to Prime Minister Rutte of the Netherlands, along with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to express his condolences and reaffirm, "the strength of the friendship" between the U.S. and the two countries.
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