Australia’s prime minister, Tony Abbott, said on Thursday that the ongoing search for missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 is “the most difficult in human history,” while reiterating his promise to the families of those on board that his country will “spare no effort” to continue the search mission as best as they can.
In a joint press conference with his visiting Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak, Abbott told reporters this is probably the most difficult search ever undertaken and he “can’t be certain about the success,” but “as far as Australia is concerned, we are throwing everything we have” to search for the aircraft.
“This is a very tough time for Prime Minister Najib…the search area is moving north, but it’s still a remote and inaccessible area. Everyday we are working on basis of small pieces of information, we are putting the jigsaw together, and every day we have a high degree of confidence about that we know more about what happened to the ill-fated airplane…it’s the most difficult (search mission) in human history,” said the Australian premier.
He also asked the families of those on board to be “patient,” saying Australia and the multinational forces will not let them down and would provide the warmest possible welcome if they want to come to Australia.
For his part, Najib thanked the effort by Australia and other countries involved in the search operation, saying “their commitment will not be forgotten.”
“In a time of great tragedy…differences have been set aside, as 26 nations have united behind a common cause. The disappearance of MH370 is without precedent, so too is the search,” said the Malaysian prime minister.
“The disappearance of MH370 has tested our collective resolve. Faced with so little evidence, and such a difficult task, investigators from Australia, China, France, Malaysia, the UK and the US have worked without pause to reveal the aircraft’s movements. Their collective efforts have led us here,” he added.
Najib also stressed his country would not give up, because he knows “many families can not start to grieve until the plane is found.”
The Malaysian prime minister arrived in Perth on Wednesday night for a two-day visit in Australia. He visited the Pearce Airforce base where the search forces operate daily and was briefed by retired Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston who lead the Joint Agency Coordination Center (JACC).
Up to eight aircraft and nine ships were involved Thursday in the hunt for MH370 and the search area has been adjusted to move further north, according to Houston.
The eight planes and nine ships are currently scouring an area of about 223,000 square km, 1,680 km west north-west of Perth.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) refined the area where the aircraft entered the water based on continuing ground- breaking and multi-disciplinary technical analysis of satellite communication and aircraft performance.