Malaysia has proposed a tripartite meeting with transport ministers of Australia and China to discuss the next step in the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370. The news of the meeting comes weeks after French prosecutors confirmed that a wing component found in July on Réunion Island came from the missing plane.
Datuk Seri Azharuddin Abdul Rahman, director general of Malaysia’s Civil Aviation Department (DCA), said Monday that the three countries remained committed to the search for the aircraft, Star Online, a local newspaper, reported. The Boeing 777-200 went missing on March 8, 2014, with 239 people on board while on its way from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.
“We are looking for a suitable date for the ministers to meet on the way forward in searching for MH370,” Azharuddin reportedly said. “I attended a meeting of senior officials in Beijing last week and the three countries are still committed to the search at the current existing area.”
Azharuddin reportedly said that Malaysia’s Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has been briefed on the Beijing meeting, which was attended by officials from China's Transport and Foreign ministries and Australia's Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) and Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB). Officials from Malaysia’s transport ministry and DCA as well as representatives from the Flight MH370’s next-of-kin committee also attended the meeting.
However, no other details of the meeting were revealed by Azharuddin, who said that the search operation will continue until next year.
The international search, led by Australia, is underway in a 46,332-square-mile area in the southern Indian Ocean, where authorities believe the plane went down.
In an operational update released last week, JACC stated that Fugro Discovery, which is focused on returning to more than 30 sites in the southern Indian Ocean where search vessels have previously made “sonar contacts of interest,” resurveyed two sonar contacts.
“The resurvey by Fugro Discovery over the past week was able to assist in assessing these contacts as not related to the search for MH370,” JACC said, in the statement, adding that bad weather conditions in the remote part of southern Indian Ocean were hindering the operations.