Kiev, Jan 20: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with Iranian president's special representative, Mohammad Eslami, on Monday to discuss the return of black boxes from the jetliner that was downed near Tehran, the Ukrainian president's press service said in a statement.
"The parties agreed that all remnants of the aircraft preserved after the accident should be returned to Ukraine," the statement read.
Ukraine has insisted that it should be the one decoding flight data and cockpit voice records from the jet. Iran has been withholding the devices as it conducts a probe into the air disaster.
A team of Iranian experts is expected to arrive in Kiev to assess Ukraine’s technical capabilities to decipher the black boxes, according to the statement. Ukraine argued they were adequate.
The Ukraine International airliner with 176 people on board was downed early in January shortly after it took off, just as Iran was preparing for a US strike in retaliation for targeting its troops in Iraq.
Iran has apologized to the victims’ countries, which include Canada, Sweden, Germany, Afghanistan and the United Kingdom. Zelenskyy has called on Iran to bring those behind the downing of the plane to justice and to pay compensations to the relatives of the victims. (UNI-Sputnik)