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MH17: Global leaders, international community react to airline tragedy

Flowers and mementos lie at the crash site of Flight MH17 near the settlement of Rozspyne in the Donetsk region of Ukraine.


"We know that there are Russians who are leaders of the separatists. Some, not all. Some. And we know that the Russians have armed the separatists, trained the separatists, support the separatists, and have, to date, not publicly called on the separatists to stand down or to be part of the solution. … Because of Russia's linkage to these separatists, they have a greater ability to exert influence and we need Russia to become part of the solution, not part of the problem." - John Kerry U.S. Secretary of State

"Russia has a clear obligation to use its influence on the separatists to secure the site and to allow access for international accident investigators. We are applying all the pressure that we can on Russia and the Russians should know that the eyes of the world are on them. How they behave over this incident will determine how the world views Russia in the coming months and years and I think this is a decision point for Russia. Russia likes to paint this as a dispute between it and the EU or it and the West, this is about Russia and the entire international community and Russia risks becoming a pariah state if it does not behave properly." - Philip Hammond British Foreign Secretary

"It is simply unacceptable to see what is happening on this site, given that 298 innocent people have been murdered. … We owe it to the dead, all the dead, we owe it to the families, all the families, to do everything in our power to respect the bodies, to find the truth and to ensure justice is done." - Tony Abbott Prime Minister of Australia

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"The international airline community needs to respond as an entity, saying this is absolutely not acceptable and outrageous, and that it won't tolerate being targeted in internecine regional conflicts that have nothing to do with airlines. [...] We have traditionally been able to manage this. Tripoli and Kabul were attacked. Karachi was attacked and we have protocols and contingencies and procedures to deal with this. That was up until three days ago. Now I think there will have to be new protocols and it will be up to ICAO and IATA and the aviation community to sort out what the protocols have to be." - Tim Clark President of Dubai's Emirates

"It is absolutely necessary and the first priority that the repatriation of the victims takes place as quickly as possible. Anyone who does not fully co-operate leaves a mark of suspicion on himself. I am shocked by the images of utterly disrespectful behaviour at the crash site. Against all rules of a studious investigation, there are people who are fooling around amongst the debris with personal and recognizable items of the victims. This is utterly disgusting. … I have told [Russian President Vladimir Putin] that time is running out for him to show the world that he is serious about his offer to help. Now, he has to take responsibility towards the rebels and show the Netherlands and the world that he will do what is expected of him, to use his influence." - Mark Rutte Prime Minister of the Netherlands

"The president […] spoke this morning with [German Chancellor] Angela Merkel and [British Prime Minister] David Cameron. They agreed to demand from [Russian President Vladimir] Putin today that he ensure that Ukrainian separatists allow emergency workers and investigators free and complete access at last to the site of the MH17 disaster to accomplish their mission. If Russia does not immediately take the necessary measures, the European Union will act in consequence at the Council of Foreign Affairs taking place on Tuesday." - Francois Hollande, President of France, in a statement from his office.

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