The Daily Star, a Lebanese Newspaper, has published a story on the press conference presided by the Lebanese Minister of Public Works on September 08, 2011.
Ethiopian Airlines regrettably noted that some factually incorrect statements were released in the subject press conference. At the outset, it is important to note that as per the jointly developed and agreed action plan, the investigation process has reached only at a technical review stage which will then be followed by another step, the analysis stage. Hence, it is abundantly clear to all parties of the investigation team that it is far from being finalized. As long as the process is not completed in accordance with the agreed action plan therefore, the investigation will remain unfinished.
The Ethiopian delegation traveled to Beirut on August 19, 2011 to join the Lebanese and American members of the investigation team and thereby to conduct the technical review as per the agreed action plan. However, to the dismay of the Ethiopian delegation, none of the members except the head of the Lebanese delegation were present for the task. Moreover, several documents, evidences, and data, which were requested to be submitted by the Lebanese authorities since the beginning of the investigation, were once again not availed for review. The Ethiopian delegation made repeated requests to the Lebanese authority to provide the documents as per the agreement but they were not given. In the absence of such vital documents the Ethiopian delegation notified the head of the Lebanese delegation that they cannot proceed with the technical review and as a result they left for Addis Ababa.
A statement was also made at the press conference regarding the relevance of some documents. We would like to once again underscore the fact that we will not rule out any possible cause to the accident be it weather, technical, security or otherwise, as all such factors are of great relevance and equally important in making the investigation complete.
Ethiopian Airlines will continue to cooperate and work closely with the investigation team to produce a comprehensive and truthful report.