Canada offers assistance in MH17 investigation

A man plays Scottish bagpipes as diplomats and employees of embassies and foreigners working and...

A man plays Scottish bagpipes as diplomats and employees of embassies and foreigners working and living in Ukraine carry flags of their countries during a rally in Kiev on July 27, 2014, demanding justice for the victims of the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 crash. AFP PHOTO/ SERGEI SUPINSKY

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:03 PM ET

Canada has offered to send civilian, aviation and criminal investigation experts to the MH17 crash site to help in forensics work and efforts to recover remains of the passengers.

The helping hand was offered Saturday by Minister of National Defence Rob Nicholson during a telephone conversation with his Dutch counterpart Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert. A total of 193 Dutch nationals and 43 Malaysians were among the victims aboard the flight that was shot down over eastern Ukraine last week.

Nicholson also told Hennis-Plasschaert that an RCMP officer will leave Sunday for the Netherlands to find out how Canada can assist local police in their investigation.

Nicholson took the opportunity to once again condemn Russia's "military aggression" in Ukraine.

“The criminal act of shooting down a civilian airliner is a direct product of Russia’s military aggression and illegal occupation of Ukraine,” Nicholson said in a statement. “We call upon pro-Russian forces to immediately withdraw from the area and let Ukrainian and international authorities complete their investigative and forensic work unimpeded.”

Last week, Liudmila Vorobyeva, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia, said his country would cooperate with the investigation into the tragedy.

-- with files from Reuters


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