WASHINGTON, July 17 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday expressed condolences to the people of Malaysia for the crash of a Malaysian airliner in Ukraine, as well as all the families who lost loved ones in the tragic event.
A Malaysian flight with 280 passengers and 15 crew members on board crashed Thursday in Ukraine near the Russian border. U.S. officials told media that they concluded the plane was shot down by missile.
In a telephone talk, Obama told Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak that the United States had offered immediate assistance to support a prompt international investigation, the White House said in a statement.
Obama also reaffirmed the strength of the friendship between the United States and Malaysia and underscored that the United States stands ready to provide any assistance or support necessary, it added.
Obama, who is in New York, convened a call with senior members of his national security team to receive an update on the crash in Ukraine, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters.
He directed his national security team to "continue offering whatever assistance is necessary to advance the international effort to determine what happened," said Earnest.