Malaysia appeals to world for help to retrieve bodies

Malaysia's newly appointed Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai
Nicolas Asfouri | AFP | Getty Images

Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai said on Saturday he believed Russia was doing its best to ensure a safe route to the site of the downed Flight MH17 and appealed to the world to help ensure bodies can be retrieved quickly.

Liow, who is flying to Ukraine later in the day, also said he believed the plane had been shot down.

Read More Ukraine accuses pro-Russian rebels of destroying evidence

"They are trying their level best to assist Malaysia to ensure we have a safe site,"Liow told reporters.

While stopping short of blaming Russia for Thursday's crash of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, in which 298 people died, U.S. President Barack Obama accused Moscow of failing to stop the violence that made it possible to shoot down the plane.

The United States has said the jetliner was hit by a surface-to-air missile fired from rebel territory.

Liow again defended the plane's route said and said it never strayed into restricted airspace.

Read More The stories of those who perished on Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17

"It flew at an altitude set and deemed safe by local air traffic control and never strayed to restricted air space," he said.

Malaysia Airlines director of operations Izham Ismail said all airlines made their own threat analysis.

"I believe we did not make a mistake," he said.

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