UIA plane crash: Iranian minister arrives in Ukraine

UIA plane crash: Iranian minister arrives in Ukraine

Iran's Minister of Roads and Urban Development Mohammad Eslami has arrived in Ukraine as an official authorized representative of the Iranian government with whom negotiations will be held, including on the return of flight recorders from a Ukrainian plane shot down by the Iranian military, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko has said.

"He is already here [in Ukraine]. What we do with 'black boxes' is a key part of our conversation. He is the minister of infrastructure and roads, he is an official representative of Iran, and his main task is to make official apologies and acknowledge what had happened," he said.

At the same time, Prystaiko expressed hope that talks with the Iranian minister would "go a little further than just political definitions" and practical issues, including the return of flight recorders, would be discussed.

According to him, negotiations are still ongoing on the transfer of flight recorders.

"We still demand that these boxes be handed to us. We believe that for the Iranian side it will be a sign of readiness for open dialogue and a demonstration that they want a clear, unbiased investigation into this tragedy," the minister said.

At the same time, he stressed that Iran's infrastructure minister in Ukraine is an authorized representative of the Iranian government.

"This minister is an authorized representative of the Iranian government. His status allows him to deliver the current official position. If it was adopted by the Iranian side, we will hear it today," Prystaiko said.

Ukraine International Airlines plane (Flight PS752) heading from Tehran to Kyiv crashed shortly after taking off from the Imam Khomeini International Airport at about 06:00 Tehran time (04:30 Kyiv time) on Wednesday, January 8. There were 176 people on board – nine crew members (all Ukrainians) and 167 passengers (citizens of Ukraine, Iran, Canada, Sweden, Afghanistan, Germany, and the UK).

On January 11, Iran announced that it had shot down the UIA passenger plane accidentally. The plane was perceived as a hostile object as it approached Iran's sensitive military base after take-off. Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps accepted full responsibility for the downing of the Ukrainian airliner.


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