The New Zealand government on Friday expressed appreciation for the independent investigation into the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH 17 saying its report is an important step towards accountability.

The downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine in July 2014 costs 298 lives including a New Zealand citizen and a New Zealand resident Xinhua quoted Foreign Minister Murray McCully as saying.

quot;We remain committed to ensuring there is accountability for this tragic incidentquot; said McCully.

quot;This report which is based on a painstaking impartial and careful investigation raises some very serious questionsquot; he said.

quot;The Joint Investigation Team’s release of its preliminary findings is an important step towards accountability.quot;

New Zealand continued to urge all countries to fully cooperate with the investigation as required under Security Council resolution 2166.

quot;The victims of this tragedy and their families deserve this muchquot; he said.

The Joint Investigation Team which comprised investigative authorities from The Netherlands Ukraine Malaysia Australia and Belgium released its interim report into the MH17 disaster on September 28 in The Hague.