Justin Trudeau: Plane crash victims would be home right now if there were no ‘tensions’ in Middle East

Justin Trudeau: Plane crash victims would be home right now if there were no ‘tensions’ in Middle East

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau suggested Tuesday that the U.S. caused tensions in the Middle-East which were to blame for Iran's mistaken downing of a Ukrainian airliner that killed all 176 passengers.

The story: “I think if there were no tensions if there was no escalation recently in the region, those Canadians would be right now home with their families,” Trudeau said on Monday, according to Global News.

“This is something that happens when you have conflict and war. Innocents bear the brunt of it and it is a reminder why all of us need to work so hard on de-escalation, moving forward to reduce tensions and find a pathway that doesn’t involve further conflict and killing,” he added.

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The Ukrainian airliner was inadvertently shot down by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps amid escalating tensions with the U.S. The downing occurred hours after Iran launched dozens of missiles against two Iraq bases housing U.S. forces in retaliation for the U.S. drone strike that killed top Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani.

According to Ukraine's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 63 of the 176 passengers killed on the Ukrainian Boeing 737-800 were Canadian.

Iran's admission that it shot down the plane, killing an estimated 82 Iranian citizens, sparked outrage and protests in Tehran, with angry citizens demanding justice for everyone responsible for the tragedy.

Trudeau's comments come ahead of a Canada-hosted meeting in London set for Thursday in which members of the International Coordination and Response Group will discuss their next steps.

“I think full admission, acknowledgment of responsibility and some form of compensation is going to have to come,” said Trudeau.

In the days following the incident, Trudeau was repeatedly questioned on whether he thinks President Donald Trump is partly to blame but has avoided explicitly blaming Trump for what happened.

“I have spoken to him and I have talked about the need to de-escalate tensions,” Trudeau said. “I’ve talked about the tremendous grief and loss that Canadians are feeling, and the need for clear answers on how this happened and how we’re going to make sure it never happens again.”

Iran denied shooting down the plane for days until Trudeau said in a press conference there was evidence that suggested Iran had attacked the plane.

Trudeau also said the focus now remains on the families of the victims, whose loved ones, he added, could take “weeks, perhaps even months” before they are brought home for burial.

“The grief they’re going through is not to be consoled right now. They want answers, they’ve expressed anger and outrage and also immeasurable pain,” he said. “I am hurt like all Canadians. I am angry like all Canadians. But unlike many people I have a job to do that will be able to help these families directly. Getting answers for them is my entire focus right now.”

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