Iranian, Canadian FMs meet in Muscat
An Iranian representative will travel to Kiev next week following the downing of a Ukrainian passenger plane near Tehran last week, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko told parliament on Friday.
He said Iran was willing to pass on to Ukraine the data and voice recorders from the flight after they had been examined by a joint investigation team comprising experts from Iran, Canada and Ukraine, according to Reuters.
The Kiev-bound Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737, crashed shortly after taking off from Tehran last Wednesday, killing all 176 people on board, mostly Iranian and Canadian citizens.
Iran admitted it has shot down the plane "unintentionally" while on high alert after firing missiles at US bases in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in a US drone strike in Baghdad.
The Ukrainian foreign minister said Iran was ready to hand over the black box flight recorders of the Ukrainian passenger plane.
He said Iran would grant a team of investigators from Iran and Canada as the countries that have lost the most nationals access to the recorders.
"After that, the Iranian side is ready to separately transfer the black boxes to Ukraine," Vadym Prystaiko said.
"This is consistent with international standards, although we still demand that they be given to us immediately to ensure the independence and objectivity of the investigation," Prystaiko said.
Prystaiko told CNN on Wednesday that Kiev has "good cooperation" with Tehran on the crash probe, but lacked "access to the information stored in the black boxes."
In a telephone conversation with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif, Prystaiko expressed his gratitude to Iran for close cooperation in investigations into the tragedy.
Zarif voiced Iran’s readiness to transfer the bodies of the Ukrainian victims of the incident and to involve experts from the country in the black box investigations.
The Iran’s foreign minister also held a meeting with his Canadian counterpart Francois-Philippe Champagnein Oman on Friday.
Both officials discussed consular, technical and legal cooperation between Iran and the countries that their nationals lost their lives in the plane tragedy.
Ukraine’s Interior Ministry said in a statement on Friday that the bodies of all Ukrainians who died in last week’s plane crash have been identified and will be transported back to Ukraine on Jan. 19.