BERLIN, July 18 (Xinhua) -- German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for a ceasefire in Ukraine at her annual summer press conference on Friday.
Addressing the MH17 tragedy, Merkel said a ceasefire "is necessary," adding, "Our thoughts are with those who have lost loved ones."
She also confirmed four Germans died in the plane crash.
Merkel said the task now was for an independent investigation to be initiated as soon as possible.
"It is, of course, important that those responsible are held to account," said Merkel. "There are many, many indications that the aircraft was shot down. And that's why we need to take these things very, very seriously."
Speaking on the broader conflict in the region, Merkel again called on the Russian leadership and government to do their part so that a political solution could be reached in Ukraine.