Dutch PM to visit Malaysia, Australia over MH17 air disaster

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte will travel to Malaysia and Australia next month to discuss a probe into the downing of Malaysian flight MH17 in rebel-held east Ukraine, the government said Monday. During the November 5 to 7 trip, Rutte will visit his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak before meeting Australia's Tony Abbott, the Dutch government information services (RVD) said. Rutte will discuss "cooperation in the investigation into the MH17 disaster" with the two leaders and voice his appreciation for support provided by the two countries, it added. The Netherlands is leading an investigation into the July 17 Malaysia Airlines crash, after losing l93 citizens in the disaster. Some 43 Malaysians and 27 Australians were killed when the plane went down in rebel-held territory in east Ukraine. Kiev and the West had accused pro-Russian separatists of shooting down the plane with a Russian supplied missile system, a claim that has been denied by Moscow. German intelligence has however accused the rebels of downing the jet using a missiles system captured from Ukrainian government forces a media report said Sunday. An initial report by Dutch investigators issued last month found that the jet was hit by multiple "high-energy" objects but did not apportion blame.

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