UPDATE 3-UN aviation body: "not our job" to warn about dangers of missiles
(Adds further comment from ICAO about sending team to join investigation to paragraph 19)
By David Ljunggren and Allison Lampert
OTTAWA/MONTREAL, July 18 (Reuters) - The U.N. civil aviation body said on Friday it was not responsible for issuing warnings about potential dangers such as military conflicts, saying that duty fell to individual nations.
The role of the International Civil Aviation Authority has come under scrutiny after a Malaysian airliner was shot down by a missile on Thursday over eastern Ukraine, killing 298 people.
Montreal-based ICAO rejected suggestions it should have issued a warning about the potential dangers of flying over the area.
"ICAO does not declare airspace safe or unsafe or undertake any other direct operational responsibilities with respect to civilian air services," said spokesman Anthony Philbin.
"It is always the responsibility of our sovereign member states to advise other states of potential safety hazards."
Asked whether ICAO would ever issue warnings about the dangers of missiles, he replied: "It's not our job."
Malaysia's transport minister said earlier that ICAO had shut down a route over eastern Ukraine after the disaster. ICAO said it did not have the power to open or shut routes. Continued...