PUTRAJAYA - Australia has offered to erect a memorial on its western coastline in memory of the lives lost in the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 tragedy.
However, Australian prime minister Tony Abbott said this move would be guided by the wishes of the Malaysian Government and the families of those on board the ill-fated flight, which went missing on March 8.
"It would be the intention of the Australian government to erect a fitting monument for those who perished at a suitable place on the Western Australian coastline.
"But this intention must be with the wishes of the Malaysian Government and families of the victims.
"To the families, you will find in Australia a welcome comfort and hopefully, closure and peace," he said in a joint press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at the Perdana Putra building Saturday.
In his first official visit to Malaysia, Abbott praised his Malaysian counterpart as having the wisdom, strength and leadership in responding to the MH370 and MH17 tragedies that have befallen the country this year.
"Malaysia suffered two very heavy blows within four months of each other.
"No country, government or prime minister should be so subjected to the twists of cruel fate.
"But I must say that Malaysia has responded to the tragedy of MH370 and the atrocity of MH17 with strength and resilience," he said.
Abbott said he could not have asked for a stronger friend than Najib in such testing times.