IOC President calls for “dialogue and peace” after Malaysia Airlines tragedy

 

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach today repeated his call for Russia and Ukraine to try to solve their current conflict after 298 people were killed abroad the Malaysia Airlines flight shot down earlier this week.

His plea came as Australia’s Chef de Mission Steve Moneghetti spoke of the shock that has fallen over the Commonwealth Games here following the tragedy.

Flight MH17, travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was allegedly shot down on Thursday (July 17) by a missile fired by pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine, killing everyone on board, including 28 Australians.

Many of the victims were en route to the 20th anniversary AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne.

“I spoke to Datuk Ong Poh Eng, the Malaysian Chef de Mission, early today and assured him of our support,” said Moneghetti.

“Among our team we held a minute’s silence.

“There will be flags at half-mast in the [Athletes’] Village.”

The President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), Prince Imran, is from Malaysia.

He arrived in Scotland yesterday having travelled from Rio de Janeiro, where he had been attending the FIFA World Cup.

Bach is due to travel here for the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on Wednesday (July 23), where he will be accompanied by Prince Imran.

“This sudden and senseless loss of life has come as a terrible shock to the entire world,” said Bach.

“During this period of mourning, I would like to reiterate my plea from the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

“I called on everyone implicated in confrontation to act on the Olympic message of dialogue and peace; to have the courage to enter into direct personal dialogue in the spirit of mutual respect, good will and peace.

“The thoughts and sympathies of everyone at the International Olympic Committee and Olympic Movement are with the loved ones of those who lost their lives in this tragic event.”

The Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) – which Prince Imran also heads – have made no official comment on the tragedy yet beyond retweeting a message from the Malaysian Athletics Federation that said:  “Pray that athletes travel to Glasgow safe”

This article first appeared in Inside the Games and has been reproduced with permission. The original article can be viewed by clicking here.

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