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Iran's foreign minister is to make a brief appearance today at a meeting hosted in Germany by Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne with counterparts from countries that lost citizens the Ukrainian jetliner crash near Tehran last month.
Canada and its allies are pushing Iran to release the black boxes from the crash so their data can be properly analysed by facilities in France.
Champagne says the decision to invite Iran's Mohammad Javad Zarif to the gathering was made after consulting his fellow foreign ministers from Britain, Sweden, Afghanistan and Ukraine, all of whom are attending the Munich Security Conference.
Those countries all lost citizens five weeks ago when Iran's military shot two missiles at a Ukrainian jetliner, killing all 176 people on board, including 57 Canadians.
Champagne says the ministers want to hear an update from Iran on requests to allow access to the black boxes, as well as the latest developments on the investigation and compensation for the families of the victims.
Champagne says he believes progress was made at a meeting with Zarif on Friday in persuading Iran to relinquish the black boxes, pointing to the fact that Iran has yet to analyse the contents of the flight data and cockpit voice recorders as proof they can't do it alone.
"I think we had a productive discussion," Champagne said Friday.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau joined the meeting between Champagne and Zarif because he said it would help put more pressure on Iran to admit it doesn't have the equipment to analyse the boxes.
"I made a promise to families in Canada to do everything I could to make sure that they get answers, that we have a full and complete investigation, that we understand exactly what happened," Trudeau told reporters on Friday.
Last month in London, Canada convened the first meeting of the International Co-ordination and Response Group for the victims of flight PS752 to present a united front to Iran as they pushed for a transparent investigation of the crash and for eventual compensation.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 15, 2020.