Second round of Ukraine-Iran plan crash talks set for October

Rescue teams work amidst debris after a Ukrainian plane crashed near Imam Khomeini airport in Tehran. (File photo: AFP)

Ukraine said on Friday that its first round of talks with Iran about the downing of a Ukrainian airliner shortly after takeoff in Tehran in January had been constructive, and that it was determined “to bring Iran to justice”.

Iranian and Ukrainian delegations held the first round of talks on Thursday in Kyiv, with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba calling them as “constructive”.

Iranian forces say they downed the Ukraine International Airlines Boeing 737 jet after mistaking it for a missile at a time when tensions with the United States had risen. All 176 people on board - including 57 Canadians - were killed.

“The talks ended late last night. The talks lasted 11 hours. In general, they were constructive,” Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said in a video briefing after meeting with an Iranian delegation.

Kuleba said the sides had agreed the terms of next round of talks and that Kyiv would not allow anyone to drag out the negotiations.

Memorial ceremony for the Ukrainian victims of Iran plane crash at the Boryspil International Airport, outside Kiev. (File photo: Reuters)

Memorial ceremony for the Ukrainian victims of Iran plane crash at the Boryspil International Airport, outside Kiev. (File photo: Reuters)

Later on Friday, the Ukrainian prosecutor general’s office said the next round was set for October.

“Of course, if the negotiations with Iran are unsuccessful, then we will go to international courts and I have absolutely no doubt that we will bring Iran to justice. But this is plan B,” Kuleba said.

“And plan A is negotiations with Iran and the solution of all these issues and the payment of compensation. We saw Iran was disposed to a serious and substantive conversation,” he said.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said in February that Ukraine was not satisfied with the size of compensation Iran had offered to families of Ukrainians killed in the incident and Kuleba said on Thursday that Ukraine would make every effort to maximize compensations.

An international team has started examining the black box flight recorders from the plane. A senior Ukrainian diplomat said last week that the transcript from the black box showed there had been illegal interference with the plane.

Read more:

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Last Update: Friday, 31 July 2020 KSA 13:25 - GMT 10:25
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