MH17: Embassies around the world open condolence books

BEIJING - The Malaysian Embassy here has opened condolence books for the public to pay their respects to victims of flight MH17.

Among those who signed on the book on Monday morning were foreign diplomats and Malaysians in Beijing.

Vietnamese ambassador Nguyen Van Tho wrote: "We are very shocked to learn about the MH17 airplane crash on July 17 that caused the tragic death to all passengers and entourage.

"On behalf of the government and the people of Vietnam, we would like to express the deepest condolences and sympathy to the government and people of Malaysia and families of the victims."

Afghan ambassador M. Kabir Farahi also offered his deepest condolences to the family members of the passengers and crew onboard MH17, as well as to the Malaysians and the Malaysian government.

Malaysian ambassador to China Datuk Iskandar Sarudin said all Malaysian diplomatic missions around the world have opened the condolence books in the wake of the tragedy.

"In Beijing, the public can leave their messages on the books at the embassy until Wednesday (July 23), from 10am to noon and 2.30pm to 4.30pm," he said.

Flight MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was believed to have been hit by a surface-to-air missile fired by the separatists last Thursday. A total of 298 people were aboard the doomed flight that went down in the Donetsk region of eastern Ukraine near the Russian border.