MH17 Malaysia’s decision to negotiate with eastern Ukraine separatists has been met with mixed reactions, but for Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, it was something that just had to be done.
“These were extraordinary circumstances which called for extraordinary measures.
"There were risks involved in pursuing this agreement. But we felt an obligation to explore all avenues to break the impasse, and secure the return of the remains and the black boxes.
"After meeting the families, I felt that we owed it to them to act,” he said in a statement today.
Najib said of the three conditions that have been set, two had been met so far and he hoped that the cooperation would continue.
The last condition to be met is for the rebels of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People's Republic to allow investigators full access to MH17’s crash site so they may begin their work.
The ones that have already been met is that the group returns the aircraft’s black boxes and the remains of the passengers and crew.
“Malaysia requests that this co-operation continue, and that investigators are granted full access to the site which was agreed.
“I am relieved that we have been able to secure the breakthrough that has allowed us to move forward,” he said.
Past midnight today, Najib held a press conference announcing that the agreement . As of time of writing, MH17’s black boxes are already in Malaysian custody and the remains of the victims has arrived in Kharkiv to be transferred to a Dutch military transport bound for Amsterdam.
The New York Times reported that the agreement had “apparently achieved what pressure from far more powerful nations had failed to accomplish”.
Many, including opponents such as DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang ( left ) and PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim has lauded this as a diplomatic success for Malaysia.
However, others have criticised Najib for negotiating with a “terrorist group”, or wondered if Malaysia had inadvertently gave the separatist group formal recognition.