Malaysia calls for new MH17 search for victims' remains

Malaysia calls for new MH17 search for victims' remains
Members of the Ukrainian State Emergency Service search for bodies in a field near the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 near the village of Hrabove (Grabovo), in Donetsk region on July 26, 2014.

MOSCOW - Malaysia's defence minister on Wednesday called for experts to carry out a final search at the crash site of downed flight MH17 in east Ukraine to recover any remains left behind before winter hits.

"It is important for us before the onset of winter in Ukraine to make one final sweep to comb the areas for any remaining passengers who have not been found," Hishammuddin Hussein said after meeting top Russian officials in Moscow.

All 298 people on board the Malaysia Airlines flight died in the July 17 disaster. A Dutch-led probe team was forced to abandon its search efforts at the site in early August due to fighting between government forces and pro-Russian rebels but a recent ceasefire has raised hopes experts could return.

Hishammuddin though could not give any specific details of when a search would take place or if safety guarantees had been given.

The minister flew to Moscow from Kiev for a whistlestop visit a day after Dutch investigators released a preliminary report on the crash after which he was to leave for the Netherlands. He said talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu and deputy foreign minister Grigory Karasin about the probe into the downing of the flight had gone "very well".

"We are both on the same page that we want transparency and we want justice," he said.

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