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President Obama Issues Statement on Malaysia Airlines Crash

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President Obama spoke to the nation Friday morning about the crash of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 over Ukraine on Thursday. 

The President opened by stating evidence does show the plane was shot down by a surface to air missile in territory controlled by Russian separatists. Moving forward, he stated both Russia and pro-Russian separatists must adhere to a cease-fire during independent investigation out of respect to those lost during the crash.


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President Obama then turned the focus to the conflict and the continued impact it continues to have both in the region and globally. "No one can deny the truths of what we have seen." This outrageous event shows there must be peace in the region." President Obama says he spoke to President Putin in the wake of additional sanctions and he wasn't pleased but reminded Putin the country's actions are why sanctions were given in the first place. 


President Obama also reminded there were 100 Aids researchers and advocates on the flight, taken from us in a "senseless act of violence."  He continued to add that despite such conflicts like the one taking place in Ukraine, there are people who dedicate their lives to helping others and bringing peace. 


The president then allowed for reporter pool questions: 


On if the flight was targeted: "Too early for us to guess the intentions those who launched the missile might have had." What we know now is surface to air missile was fired and that shot was taken from a territory controlled by Russian separatists. 


On sanctions against Russia: "I made clear to Putin our preffered path is diplomatical, but will they continue to support a faction which undermines Ukraine?" "We will continue to make clear that as Russia engages in these efforts that we have the capacity to increase the sanctions imposed on them. 


On Blaming Russia: We know the Russian separatists arming and function is because of Russia's support. "A group of separatists can't shoot down military planes without sophisticated equipment..and that's coming from Russia."


Americans on Board?: "We have been pretty methodical in working through flight manifest. At this point one person was definitively a U.S. citizen."The president wrapped up by repeating the need to continue pushing Russia to cease supporting separatists groups and called the crash a reminder that this conflict has global repercussions. 


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