US President Barack Obama demands an immediate ceasefire in Ukraine, to facilitate the investigation into the shot-down Malaysia Airlines jet.
In a statement, he said "Russia, pro-Russian separatists, and Ukraine must adhere to an immediate cease-fire. Evidence must not be tampered with. Investigators need to access the crash site. And the solemn task of returning those who were lost on board the plane to their loved ones needs to go forward immediately."
Among 298 people on board Flight MH17 leaving Amsterdam for Kuala Lumpur, there was an American citizen, Quinn Lucas Schansman. Malaysia Airlines' statement as of 5pm showed that 193 passengers were the nationals of the Netherlands, including the Schansman who held dual Netherlands/American citizenship. The civilian plane was shot down in the east of Ukraine on Thursday.
"In the coming hours and days, I’ll continue to be in close contact with leaders from around the world as we respond to this catastrophe. Our immediate focus will be on recovering those who were lost, investigating exactly what happened, and putting forward the facts."
Obama also urged all to digest information.
"I think it's very important for folks to sift through what is factually based and what is simply speculation."
Here is the link to the full transcript: http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov/st/english/texttrans/2014/07/20140718304210.html#ixzz37vzJCKj9.