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Foreign diplomats invited to MH17 remains reception ceremony

Foreign diplomats in Malaysia have been invited to attend a ceremony to receive the remains of victims of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 aircraft tragedy at the KL International Airport in Sepang on Friday (Aug 22).

PUTRAJAYA: Foreign diplomats in Malaysia have been invited to attend a ceremony to receive the remains of victims of the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH17 aircraft tragedy at the KL International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang on Friday (Aug 22).

The ceremony, beginning 10am, will be held at the KLIA's Kompleks Bunga Raya. The government has declared Friday, a day of national mourning.

Foreign Deputy Minister Hamzah Zainuddin said the diplomats included those from countries whose citizens were also victims of the aircraft which was believed to have been shot down in eastern Ukraine on July 17.

"They have come and conveyed their condolences to us. Nevertheless, we want them to be present to view (the ceremony) and together, receive the remains upon arrival," he told reporters after the 47th ASEAN Day flag-raising ceremony in Wisma Putra on Tuesday (Aug 19).

The first batch of remains of the victims is expected to arrive on that day at about 10am, via a special plane from Amsterdam. The Malaysian King, Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah, is scheduled to be at the ceremony, which will also be attended by Prime Minister Najib Razak, cabinet ministers, chief ministers, as well as families of the victims.

Flight MH17 went down in eastern Ukraine as it was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 283 passengers and 15 crew on board. The Boeing 777-200 aircraft was believed to have been shot down over Donetsk, near the Russian border.

Besides Malaysians, nationals from the Netherlands, Australia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, the Philippines, Canada and New Zealand were among the passengers and crew on board.  

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