PETALING JAYA: In marking the second anniversary of the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on Tuesday, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak says the Government remains hopeful that the plane will be found within the search area.
"The current search operation is expected to be completed later this year, and we remain hopeful that MH370 will be found in the 120,000 sq km area under investigation.
"If it is not, then Malaysia, Australia and China will hold a tripartite meeting to determine the way forward," the Prime Minister said in a statement, adding that the country mourned the loss of the 239 people, including 50 Malaysians, who were on board.
"The discovery of debris on the island of Reunion last July provided further evidence that, as I announced on 24th March 2014, Flight MH370 tragically ended in the southern Indian Ocean. But we know that neither the passage of time, nor this evidence, will comfort those whose grief cannot be assuaged.
"The disappearance of MH370 was without precedent, and the search has been the most challenging in aviation history. Amidst some of the world's most inhospitable terrain - at depths of up to six kilometres, across underwater mountain ranges, and in the world's fastest currents - the search team has been working tirelessly to find MH370's resting place. We are grateful for their efforts," he added.
Najib said that despite all these challenges, the Government remained committed to solving the "agonising mystery for the loved ones of those who were lost in the tragedy".
"On this most difficult of days, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who will never be forgotten," he added.
MH370 vanished on March 8, 2014 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 people onboard, mostly Chinese.
A wing fragment was discovered on Reunion Island last July, and later confirmed to be from MH370, the first proof that the plane went down.
Two new pieces of debris have been found in the past week, but it is not yet known if they are from MH370.