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Canada continues to press Iran to turn over black boxes

TRENTON, Canada

The Canadian and Iranian foreign ministers met Friday to discuss the downing of the Ukrainian passenger jet, with the Canadian side again urging Tehran to turn over the plane’s black boxes to France for analysis.

Francois-Philippe Champagne said in a statement that he also “reiterated that Canada is seeking closure, accountability, transparency and justice for the victims of this tragedy, including a thorough, credible and transparent investigation.”

Champagne and Javad Zarif met on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany.

All 167 passengers, including 57 Canadians, and nine crew died when Iran inadvertently shot down Ukrainian airliner PS752 minutes after it took off from Tehran airport on Jan. 8. The Iranians believed the plane was an enemy attack in retribution for a missile strike on military bases in Iraq a few hours earlier.

Champagne also said that he stressed the importance of a “fair and equitable compensation settlement” for the families of the victims.

The two agreed to keep in close touch, but little has changed since the pair met Jan. 17.

Canada has continued to press Iran to release the black boxes that contain data on the downed airliner. The Iranians have resisted, asking instead that the technology to extract data be given to them so they can download the boxes’ records.

The question of compensation has also been repeatedly raised – Canada gave $25,000 to each of the victims’ families to help with expenses such as flights to Iran and burial of loved ones. Again, Iran has remained silent on any financial settlement.

No date was given for a future meeting.

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