Julie Bishop arrives in Kiev for MH17 talks

Julie Bishop pauses at the tribute to victims of MH17 outside the Dutch embassy in Kiev. Photo: Nick Miller Julie Bishop arrives at the Dutch embassy in Kiev. Photo: Nick Miller

Julie Bishop has arrived at the Dutch embassy in Kiev for a day of talks with Ukrainian officials about the MH17 disaster.

She said the sea of flowers and stuffed toys outside the embassy reminded her of the children who died on the Malaysia Airlines flight last week and reinforced her determination to succeed in Thursday’s talks.

“It’s so unspeakably sad,” Ms Bishop said after stopping to look at the thousands of flowers, candles, toys and messages heaped in front of the embassy.

“The more I become involved in this matter in trying to get a resolution for our families at home, I understand how much pain and anguish there is across the world.

“Seeing these flowers and tributes and toys reminds us there were 80 children on board that flight.”

She then headed inside to begin talks with Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans, accompanied by Angus Houston, who is heading Australia’s recovery and investigation team in Ukraine.

Ms Bishop and Mr Timmermans were in Kiev to get “the necessary authorisations so that an aircrash investigation and a crime investigation can commence without delay”, she said.

The two will hold a joint meeting with Ukraine’s Foreign Minister, discussing options for securing the site to ensure the safety of those still looking for human remains and to establish what caused the tragedy.

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