Short speech by Prime Minister Mark Rutte in Malaysia
I am here today because of the MH17 air disaster. This tragedy has left deep wounds in the societies affected. Above all, it has devastated the loved ones of the victims. They must now live every day with the pain of their loss. I would like to take this opportunity to express my appreciation once again for the excellent cooperation we experienced with Malaysia in the aftermath of the disaster.
Together with Australia, which was also hit hard by the disaster, Malaysia and the Netherlands form a 'coalition of the grieving'.
All three countries are working closely to achieve our common goals: repatriating any further human remains and personal belongings, investigating the facts of the disaster and conducting a criminal investigation. Conditions on the ground remain difficult. But we remain determined to achieve these goals. Last week conditions allowed a small team to visit the crash site. They found remains of victims, which will be transferred to the Netherlands following the usual ceremonial protocol. We will continue to take every opportunity to go to the site.
Prime Minister Najib has demonstrated his personal commitment to this issue time and again - as we saw for ourselves when he visited the Netherlands in July. Now it is essential that we continue working together closely, and that we keep this subject high on the international agenda.
Following the MH370 tragedy, the downing of flight MH17 was Malaysia's second air disaster in a short space of time. As a result, a large number of next of kin have been living for many months in an agony of uncertainty about what exactly happened to their loved ones.
A Dutch company is involved in the search for the missing MH370 aircraft. I truly hope that the search will eventually provide the next of kin with the certainty they need.