Trudeau gives update on Canada's response to Flight PS752 downing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will give an update on Canada's response to the destruction of a Ukrainian passenger flight in Iran last week that killed all 176 people aboard.

CBC News will carry his remarks live starting at 10:30 a.m. ET. 

Trudeau's latest update comes as Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne is in Oman for a rare face-to-face meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Champagne is expected to press Zarif for concrete action after Canada and an international cohort laid out their demands, including an independent criminal investigation, in the wake of Iran admitting to accidentally shooting down the flight last week.

Champagne was in Britain on Thursday to chair the first meeting of an international co-ordination and response group made up of representatives of nations that lost citizens in the crash: Canada, Ukraine, Sweden, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom.

After a day of closed-door meetings, ministers from the five nations emerged with a framework for co-operation with Iran.

The international group's demands include:

  • Full access within Iran to allow them to provide consular services to relatives of the victims.
  • Assurance the victim identification process is conducted with "dignity, transparency and to international standards, and to ensure families' wishes are respected."
  • Access to a thorough, independent and transparent international investigation governed by the Convention on International Civil Aviation.
  • A commitment from Iran it will continue to assume full responsibility for the disaster and co-operate with compensation talks.
  • An "independent criminal investigation."

"We are judging Iran every day, demand by demand," said Champagne.

"There's a path for Iran to continue in the first step they've done, which is to admit full responsibility. And when you admit full responsibility, there are consequences that flow from them and full co-operation is part of that."

Possible interim compensation for victims

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok attended the meeting to brief the ministers on lessons learned during his country's five-year probe of the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukraine in 2014. Investigators concluded the aircraft was shot down by Russian-backed separatists in Ukraine. All 283 passengers and 15 crew were killed.

Under international law, Iran is leading the latest aviation investigation because the crash occurred within its borders, but there are precedents for handing that responsibility over to another country that suffered losses.

Most of the people on board were destined for Canada, including 57 Canadian citizens.

Canada's Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne, shown at a news conference after a meeting of the International Coordination and Response Group for families of the victims of Flight PS752, is meeting with his Iranian counterpart Friday in Oman. (Frank Augstein/The Associated Press)

On Wednesday, Transport Minister Marc Garneau said Iran is co-operating with the two Canadian Transportation Safety Board investigators on the scene, but Canada still wants official status in Iran's investigation — which would allow Canadian officials to take part in the analysis of the flight recorders' data.

Besides pushing Iran to compensate the victims' families, the prime minister's parliamentary secretary, Omar Alghabra, said the government is considering offering family members of the victims a form of interim compensation while they wait for settlement of their compensation claims against Iran.

"We are actively exploring these options and we hope a decision will be made in short order," Alghabra said. 

Watch: Champagne outlines demands from grieving nations.

Foreign Minister François-Philippe Champagne lists the five demands made by the International Coordination and Response Group for the families of the victims of PS752. 1:50

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