BEIRUT: Lebanon’s Foreign Affairs Ministry announced Saturday, that the Rizk couple aboard the downed Malaysia Airline passenger plane held Egyptian and Australian nationalities not Lebanese.
“After receiving a detailed list of the names of passengers [aboard] the downed Malaysian plane and after reviews done by our embassies and consulates in Australia, it appeared that the deceased couple from the Rizk [family] held Australian and Egyptian nationalities,” said a statement released by the ministry.
The ministry pointed out that it is still working with its embassies and consulates abroad to ensure that no Lebanese citizen was amongst the victims of the plane crash.
The statement also condemned all terrorist attacks irrespective of their motivation or cause, sending out condolences to the victims of the plane crash.
The couple was identified as Albert Rizk and his wife, Marie.
The Australian newspaper Herald Sun said the couple were due to return home Friday after spending a month-long holiday in Europe. The Rizks have two children and have lived in Melbourne for more than 20 years, it added.
The Malaysian airliner was brought down over eastern Ukraine Thursday, killing all 298 people aboard and sharply raising the stakes in a conflict between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels in which Russia and the West back opposing sides.
Ukraine accused "terrorists" -- militants fighting to unite eastern Ukraine with Russia -- of shooting down the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 with a heavy, Soviet-era SA-11 ground-to-air missile as it flew from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.