'Heartbroken' Obama at Dutch embassy over jet disaster

WASHINGTON (AFP) - US President Barack Obama paid his respects to the victims of the Malaysia Airlines jet disaster on Tuesday at the Dutch embassy, and pledged US assistance in the ongoing probe.

"Obviously, we are all heartbroken," Mr Obama said after signing the condolence book in the embassy's entrance hall.

The president expressed US "solidarity with the people of the Netherlands" and offered "deepest condolences" on behalf of the nation.

One dual US-Dutch national was among the 298 people killed on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, which was downed over rebel-held east Ukraine. More than half of the victims were Dutch.

Mr Obama said Washington would work with the Netherlands "to make sure their loved ones are recovered and justice" is done.

The Boeing 777 crashed last week, apparently after being shot down by a surface-to-air missile. The United States has pointed the finger of blame at pro-Russian separatists.