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Julie Bishop Called It For Australia And The World, Says Abbott; Operation Bring Them Home Underway

Prime Minister Tony Abbott says Operation Bring Them Home is underway for victims of the attack on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Alleging evidence-tampering on an industrial scale at the crash site, Abbott praised Foreign Minister Julie Bishop for “calling it for Australia and the world” at the United Nations.


Overnight, the 15-member United Nations Security Council, including Russia, unanimously supported a resolution calling for an international investigation into the attack on Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 last Friday. It demanded that armed groups in Ukraine allow access to the crash site and ensure that its integrity is maintained.

The resolution also insisted on the “dignified, respectful and professional” treatment and recovery of the bodies of the victims.

Julie Bishop flew to New York to put Australia’s case to the Security Council. Abbott said Bishop had “called it for Australia and she called it for the world”.

At a press conference in Canberra today, Abbott said there has been “evidence-tampering on an industrial scale”. He said that “after the crime comes the cover-up”.

Abbott said that Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston has met with Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko and is co-ordinating the repatriation of bodies, a process he dubbed Operation Bring Them Home.

Abbott said he was much more optimistic today about the recovery effort but warned against “facile optimism”. The situation could change at any time, he said.

Earlier in the day, Abbott attended a ceremony in Parliament House where a book of condolence was opened. Abbott and the Governor-General, Sir Peter Cosgrove, signed the book, as did diplomatic representatives of other nations.

Media release from Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

UN Security Council resolution on the downing of flight MH17

The United Nations Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution calling on the armed separatist groups controlling the MH17 crash site to allow unfettered access to international investigators.

Australia played a lead role, authoring the resolution which was adopted in New York on July 21 (July 22 Australian time).

It calls on the separatists to ensure the bodies of the 298 victims – including 28 Australians and nine Australian permanent residents – are treated with the utmost dignity and respect and returned to their grieving families.

The resolution underlined the need for a full, thorough and independent international investigation into the crash and demanded all military activities in the area cease to allow immediate, safe, secure and unrestricted access to investigating authorities.

It asks all countries to cooperate in bringing the perpetrators of this crime to justice.

Today’s resolution lends the full weight of the Security Council in condemning the attack and extending the international community’s deepest sympathies and condolences to the families of all the victims of this tragic incident.

Australia welcomes the UN Secretary-General’s offer of assistance to the investigation. The United Nations will continue to have a crucial role in the aftermath of the MH17 tragedy.

Australia will continue to do everything in its power to ensure this barbaric act is thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice.

Message of Condolence from Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Message of Condolence


Australians mourn the loss of Flight MH17.

There were 298 people on this aircraft – and their deaths offend our sense of justice.

We grieve for all, but particularly for the 37 men, women and children who called Australia home.

Many others were travelling to Australia on Flight MH17, including health researchers who work every day for a better world.

Those lost on Flight MH17 include citizens from Malaysia, Indonesia, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, the Philippines, the United States, South Africa, New Zealand and Canada, as well as Australia. The Netherlands has borne an unimaginable loss.

Our hearts go out to all their families. We will support them through the difficult times ahead.

In coming weeks, Australians will stand with the families, friends, neighbours and colleagues who have lost people they cherish.

Twenty-three million Australians share the sadness of those who mourn.

We are united in grief and in our determination to ensure that justice is done.

Tony Abbott
Prime Minister of Australia

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Malcolm Farnsworth
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