2. SOUNDBITE (English) Mike Pompeo, US Secretary of State:
Reporter, off-camera (reading a letter from Australian father whose children were on board MH17): "That the plane was hit by a Russian missile has been proven to be an irrefutable fact. That these killed our three beautiful children and their grandfather and destroyed our life and many other lives has been proven, is rather an irrefutable fact. Secretary Pompeo, will the United States, our friend and ally, help Australia hold Russia to account, and how?"
Pompeo: "Well, I appreciate the question from you, from them. My condolences to their family. It's indeed a tragedy. The United States has already been a great partner for the Netherlands and for Australia in trying to identify who shot down this plane. We need the Russians to continue to be held accountable for that. We take this matter seriously and we committed over these last two days, as we have for the last months, to continue to support every effort through the joint investigative team to hold the perpetrators for this heinous activity accountable. You have America's support in that and will continue to do so."
3. Pompeo, US Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Australian Defence Minister Marise Payne shake hands following news conference
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday said the US would continue to hold Russia accountable for the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over war-ravaged eastern Ukraine four years ago.
During a news conference with his Australian counterpart in California, Pompeo was asked to clarify the US position in light of the conflicting messages sent by President Donald Trump following his summit with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
A reporter read out a letter from the Australian father of three young children who died in the tragedy, who wrote to ask the secretary of state whether the US intended to keep supporting Australia and the Netherlands in their case against Russia.
Pompeo answered the US continued to support "every effort... to hold the perpetrators for this heinous activity accountable".
A Dutch-led international team of investigators earlier this year said they had strong evidence that the missile system that brought down the flight on 17 July, 2014, killing all 298 people on board, came from a Russia-based military unit.
A day later, both the Dutch and Australian governments said they would hold Moscow legally responsible for its role in the missile attack, a move supported by allies including the US, Britain and the European Union.