IOC Boss Calls For Truce

International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Thomas Bach has repeated his call for Russia and Ukraine to try to solve their current conflict after 298 people were killed aboard the Malaysia Airlines flight reportedly shot down earlier this week.

Thomas_BachHis plea came as Australia’s Chef de Mission, Steve Moneghetti spoke of the shock that has fallen over the Commonwealth Games following the tragedy.

Flight MH17, travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was allegedly shot down on Thursday by a missile fired by pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine, killing everyone on board, including 28 Australians.

Many of the victims were en route to the 20th anniversary AIDS 2014 conference in Melbourne.

“I spoke to Datuk Ong Poh Eng, the Malaysian Chef de Mission, early and assured him of our support,” said Moneghetti.

“Among our team we held a minute’s silence.

“There will be flags at half-mast in the Athletes’ Village.”

The President of the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), Prince Imran, is from Malaysia.

He arrived in Scotland on Friday having travelled from Rio de Janeiro, where he had been attending the FIFA World Cup.

Bach is due to travel for the Opening Ceremony of the Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on Wednesday where he will be accompanied by Prince Imran.

“This sudden and senseless loss of life has come as a terrible shock to the entire world,” said Bach.

“During this period of mourning, I would like to reiterate my plea from the Opening and Closing ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

“I called on everyone implicated in confrontation to act on the Olympic message of dialogue and peace; to have the courage to enter into direct personal dialogue in the spirit of mutual respect, good will and peace.

“The thoughts and sympathies of everyone at the International Olympic Committee and Olympic Movement are with the loved ones of those who lost their lives in this tragic event.”

A message from David Grevemberg, chief executive of Glasgow 2014, has also been sent to the OCM, promising to “stand in solidarity with our friends”.

“The Commonwealth Games are always called ‘The Friendly Games’ and they are just that,” said Moneghetti.

“They are definitely not only about sport, they are about helping and supporting one another, especially in difficult times, whichever nation you happen to be representing.

“There’s certainly a sombre feeling around after this news but the Games are a great opportunity to look forward, work together and be positive.” —

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