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Malaysia, China, Australia to meet in Canberra on next phase of MH370 search

Published on May 2, 2014 1:33 PM
 
People walk past a billboard in support of missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 as Chinese relatives of passengers on the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 have a meeting at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing on April 23, 2014. Officials from Malaysia, Australia and China will meet in Canberra next week to discuss the next phase of search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which will take eight to 12 months. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

Officials from Malaysia, Australia and China will meet in Canberra next week to discuss the next phase of search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 which will take eight to 12 months.

"This Sunday, I will be going to Canberra for a trilateral discussion with China... (on) the deployment of asssets, engagement with families and the experts and technical advice from over the world," said Malaysia's Acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein at a press conference on Friday.

Also at the press conference was Mr Angus Houston, head of the Australia-based Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC), who arrived in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

He stressed that the Monday meeting is important as it will "formalise the way ahead" for the hunt of MH370, which will include deepwater search.

"The search will take probably eight to 12 months," he said.

Mr Houston dismissed reports that the plane wreckage could have been found in the Bay of Bengal, saying the Bangladeshi navy had not found anything in the area.

He also expressed confidence that the search in the southern Indian Ocean has been on the right track, although he acknowledged that the chances of finding the plane is now lower.

Also at the press conference was Mr Jean Paul Trodeac, who headed the 2009 search for Air France's Flight AF447.

He said the authorities are deploying the right assets in the MH370 search which involves a "very big and deep" area.

yyennie@sph.com.sg

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