Timmermans calls for unhindered and safe access to crash site

'This is a black day for the Netherlands, and for Malaysia. We mourn all those who were on board flight MH17, whatever their nationality,' said foreign minister Frans Timmermans in response to the Ukraine air disaster.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is immediately dispatching a consular support team to Kyiv to assist the local Dutch embassy. The Ministry has set up a crisis team in The Hague. Relatives can contact the Ministry by calling +31 (0)70 348 77 70.

Mr Timmermans called his Ukrainian counterpart Pavlo Klimkin on Thursday evening to discuss the disaster. He emphasised the need for an independent investigation into today's events. Mr Klimkin pledged his full cooperation and said he would welcome Dutch participation.

The Minister assured Ukraine the Netherlands would provide every possible support in the relief efforts and further action following this terrible disaster, including deployment of the Dutch National Forensic Investigation Team (LFTO) to help identify the victims. The ministers agreed that responders need to be given unhindered and safe access to the area and that the crash site should remain undisturbed. They called on all those involved to provide full and immediate cooperation in the matter.