BEIRUT: The Lebanese delegation sent to Mali to investigate the crash of the Air Algerie flight arrived back in Beirut Sunday, saying that efforts to transport the victim’s remains and test DNA samples were far from over.
“Our mission did not end with our arrival in Beirut today," said the Director-General for Emigrant Affairs Haitham Joumaa. "The mission is not over. We will follow up by making calls and through logistics ... there is large scale cooperation with all the states that we visited whether Mali or Burkina Faso or the French government."
Jomma said the matter would require patience as although the delegation was working quickly, it could not skip over the necessary scientific procedures.
He said the delegation had already started work on testing DNA samples.
“Everything is going in the right way, and we hope that results will come in the right time,” said Jomaa.
The delegation is also looking into how it can comfort the victims’ families in the meantime, and has already visited them to offer condolences on behalf of the Lebanese government.
Secretary-General of the Higher Relief Committee Maj. Gen. Mohammad Khair said that according to the agreement with the French delegation, the second phase of transporting the bodies would begin as soon as possible.
“After we are done with DNA testing, we will coordinate the transport of remains,” he said at the airport.
The official Lebanese delegation left for Mali on July 26 to follow up on the investigation into the crash of Air Algerie flight AH 5107 and the repatriation of the remains of some 19 Lebanese nationals who perished in the incident.