Bern, July 17, 2014 - Didier Burkhalter, OSCE Chairperson-in-Office and Swiss Foreign Minister, expressed his sincere condolences to the families of the many victims of the shocking crash of the Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukrainian territory. He said that the circumstances which led to this tragedy had to be investigated in a thorough and impartial manner and commended Ukraine’s readiness to involve international expertise.
Burkhalter welcomed the two rounds of video conference-based talks of the Trilateral Contact Group with representatives of separatist groups who agreed to securing the site of the crash, to providing safe access to the site for rescue teams, national and international investigators, and SMM monitors, and to cooperating with competent Ukrainian authorities on further practical questions in the course of the rescue operation. He commended the respective efforts of the Trilateral Contact Group, the Special Monitoring Mission, and other actors involved. The OSCE stands ready to support Ukraine in this difficult rescue operation in every possible way, he added.
Too many innocent civilians have already died in this conflict, Burkhalter stressed. It is the common responsibility of all to put the security of the people first and now redouble efforts to work towards a sustainable ceasefire, he added. The OSCE will continue its efforts to support Ukraine in de-escalating the situation, Burkhalter concluded.