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Malaysia seeks to get probe team back to MH17 crash site

Malaysia seeks to strengthen ties with the relevant countries and parties to enable Malaysian investigating and security teams to return to the Malaysia Airlines MH17 tragedy site in eastern Ukraine to look for the rest of the remains of the victims.

SEPANG: Malaysia seeks to strengthen ties with the relevant countries and parties to enable Malaysian investigating and security teams to return to the Malaysia Airlines MH17 tragedy site in eastern Ukraine to look for the rest of the remains of the victims.

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said the location of the crash site was in a turbulent area and, unlike before, the location was seeing war and geo-political clashes."We have to discuss with the intelligence agencies. We have to strengthen ties not just with the Western nations, NATO and the Ukrainian government but also the separatists, Russia and the United States because there are not many nations which can consider the interests of all parties.

"We hold to our intentions and the promise that Prime Minister Najib Razak made to the families, that we will do whatever it takes to try to get as many (remains of the victims) back to the country. We will do it," he told reporters after the ceremony to accord honours to nine victims of the MH17 tragedy.

The victims were brought home on Tuesday (Sep 2) at the Bunga Raya Complex of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The ceremony was attended by Najib, his wife Rosmah Mansor, cabinet ministers and the victims' family members.

Hishammuddin said the government would do everything within its power to ensure that the Malaysian investigating and security teams returned to the location of the crash. "I talked with (Prime Minister) Najib just now and he is fully committed to this. It will be a miracle if we succeed as it (the site) is in a war zone but we have done the impossible before. If all the parties agree to a ceasefire to allow the investigating team to re-enter the site, we will not have to monitor closely, in the context of the Defence Ministry and the military," he said.

Asked if Malaysia would be discussing with the relevant parties so as to enter the location, Hishammuddin said: "This is very sensitive". He said the Malaysian government would continue with its efforts to get justice for the innocent victims and families of the tragedy.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai, who was also approached after the ceremony, said the Dutch authorities were working to identify all the remains of the MH17 victims. "We have to work hard to find all the bodies, even entering the crash sitte again to look for the bodies as well as recover our plane wreckage and identify more evidence of this tragedy," he said.

He said 587 body parts were still being identified at the Hilversum Military Medical Camp in the Netherlands and that, so far, 183 remains had been identified.

Flight MH17 was carrying 298 passengers and crew when it was allegedly shot down in eastern Ukraine on Jul 17 while on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. So far, nobody has claimed responsibility for the incident. There were 43 Malaysians on board the Boeing 777-200 aircraft. The remains of 32 have been identified and 31 of them have been brought home. 

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