Global leaders express shock over downed plane

The Associated PressJuly 17, 2014 

International leaders and officials expressed grief and shock at the crash Thursday in eastern Ukraine of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet carrying 298 people. Several pledged to contribute to investigation efforts. The plane en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was carrying 154 Dutch citizens, 43 Malaysians, 27 Australians and passengers of several other nationalities.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte:

"Possibly one of the worst air disasters in Dutch history... I am shocked. I am broken up. All of us in the Netherlands are in deep mourning."

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak:

"We must - and we will - find out precisely what happened to this flight. No stone can be left unturned. If it transpires that the plane was indeed shot down, we insist that the perpetrators must swiftly be brought to justice."

"This is a tragic day, in what has already been a tragic year, for Malaysia... The flight's passengers and crew came from many different countries. But today, regardless of nationality, we are all united in grief."

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko called it an "act of terrorism" and demanded an international investigation.

Russian President Vladimir Putin:

"This tragedy would not have happened if there were peace on this land, if the military actions had not been renewed in southeast Ukraine."

"And, certainly, the state over whose territory this occurred bears responsibility for this awful tragedy."

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott:

"We owe it as well to the families of the dead to find out exactly what has happened and exactly who is responsible. ... As things stand, this looks less like an accident than a crime. And if so, the perpetrators must be brought to justice."

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry:

"We are horrified by the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. There are no words adequate to express our condolences to the families of the nearly 300 victims. We offer our sympathies and support to the Governments of Malaysia and the Netherlands at this difficult time, as well as to all those whose citizens may have been on board. We are reviewing whether any American citizens were aboard the flight."

"The United States Government remains prepared to assist with a credible, international investigation any way we can, and we will continue to be in touch with all relevant partners as we seek the facts of what happened today."

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon:

"There is clearly a need for a full and transparent international investigation."

Chris Beyrer, president-elect of the International AIDS Society:

Commenting on reports that world-renowned Dutch HIV researcher Joep Lange was on Flight 17, "then the HIV/AIDS movement has truly lost a giant."

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim:

"This is yet another national tragedy and our moment of deep grief and sorrow."

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