MH370 Ministerial Tripartite Meeting
22 July 2016
Senior Ministers from Australia, Malaysia and the People's Republic of China met today in Putrajaya, Malaysia to discuss arrangements in the event Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is not located.
Malaysian Minister of Transport, Dato' Sri Liow Tiong Lai, chaired the meeting with the Australian Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, the Hon. Darren Chester MP, and the Chinese Minister of Transport, the Hon. Mr. Yang Chuantang.
Ministers took the opportunity to reflect on the enormous sense of grief felt by so many people following the tragic disappearance of MH370 and again acknowledged and expressed their gratitude to the many nations of the world that had provided expertise and other assistance over the subsequent almost two and a half years.
Ministers were provided with an update on the status of the underwater search and the Annex 13 investigation.
Attention was particularly focused on delays to the search as a result of damaged equipment and recent poor weather, as well as discussion about the discovery of aircraft debris and what it meant in relation to search efforts and the investigation
While acknowledging the significance of the debris, Ministers noted that to date, none of it had provided information that positively identified the precise location of the aircraft.
With less than 10,000 square kilometres of the high priority search area remaining to be searched, Ministers acknowledged that despite the best efforts of all involved, the likelihood of finding the aircraft is fading.
Ministers agreed that should the aircraft not be located in the current search area, and in the absence of credible new evidence leading to the identification of a specific location of the aircraft, the search would not end, but be suspended upon completion of the 120,000 square kilometre search area.
The suspension does not mean the termination of the search. Ministers reiterated that the aspiration to locate MH370 has not been abandoned. Should credible new information emerge which can be used to identify the specific location of the aircraft, consideration will be given in determining next steps.