Access to the MH17 crash site has been a contentious issue, but Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte are seeking full access to the area that is currently controlled by pro-Russia separatists.
Razak brokered the deal with separatists which led to the return of the recovered bodies and the MH17 black boxes. According to Razak, there were three parts to the deal and he will discuss the final condition, full access to the crash site, with Rutte on Wednesday. Razak said in a statement, "Full access to the crash site and the ability to collect evidence is required so that the international team can complete a comprehensive investigation to determine the cause of the crash, and who was responsible."
In the upcoming meeting, Razak and Rutte will discuss ways Malaysia can help with identifying the remains that have arrived in the Netherlands and how to secure the MH17 crash site. According to Razak, a team of 34 investigators, 30 from Malaysia along with three Dutch investigators, as well as a member of the International Civil Aviation Organization, or ICAO, can cover the site. However, fighting between Ukraine and the militants has prevented such a team from operating in the area.
Australia Prime Minister Tony Abbott stressed the need for full access to the site as there are human remains still at the crash site, reports the Telegraph. Abbott said, "Plainly there are unrecovered body remains in the area. And it's the presence of unrecovered remains that makes it more important than ever that an international team be dispatched to the site." In order to secure access to the site, Abbott will send 190 Australian federal police to the area.
MH17 was shot down on July 17, killing the 298 passengers onboard, and evidence points to separatists being responsible for the downing of the plane. The separatists have denied shooting down the plane, while Russia has denied any involvement in supplying or aiding the group. On Friday, Ukrainian authorities released more intercepted audio linking separatists with Russia as well as the downing of MH17.