BEIJING, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Multinational search operations for the missing Malaysian airliner continued Monday in the Indian Ocean; however, no meaningful traces have been found so far.
Australian Defence Minister David Johnston said Monday his country would do what it could to assist Malaysia to locate the missing flight MH370 in whatever state it was in.
"We are now changing our focus to the central eastern Indian Ocean to try to solve this mystery," he said.
Australia has provided two RAAF P-3C Orion aircraft to assist the Malaysian government in its search effort since March 9.
Johnston confirmed Australian aircraft were being directed by the Royal Malaysian Air Force Commander for the Western Region Search Area and information on the search's progress would be directed to the Malaysian authorities.
According to an update from the Australian Department of Defence on Sunday, Malaysian authorities coordinating the search had re-tasked an Australian aircraft.
One RAAF P-3C Orion commenced searching in the Indian Ocean to the north and west of the Cocos Islands and the other would continue to search west of Malaysia.
France, which experienced its own search for a missing plane when an Air France flight disappeared off the coast of Brazil in 2009, has also confirmed its assistance, with the assignment of four experts and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius stressing the importance his government attached to the search.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday assured his Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak of all the help India could provide.
Razak called Singh and requested technical assistance in corroborating possible paths the missing airliner might have taken after losing contact with air traffic control radars.
India had supported search operations in the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal earlier this week, but this was suspended Sunday at the request of Kuala Lumpur.
The Indian Defense Ministry said the search would remain suspended until notice by Malaysia on which areas to search.
Meanwhile, Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid said Monday India had found nothing so far to support reports it was headed for a 9/11 style attack on India, local media CNN-IBN reported.
"I don't think we have gone so far. Security agencies would look at all possibilities," Khurshid told the media.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian authorities have confirmed the pilot spoke to air traffic control after a signaling system was disabled on the jet, without referring to any trouble. This comes as speculation grows about possible pilot complicity and a possible hijacking.
Razak on Sunday hinted at foul play, saying someone probably deliberately diverted the plane from its flight path from Kuala Lampur to Beijing.
The Boeing 777-200 aircraft, carrying 227 passengers and 12 crew members en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, mysteriously disappeared from radar in the early hours of March 8.
Western media said Monday Malaysia would search 634 runaways in 26 different countries, ranging from Pakistan to Western Australia, that were considered within the aircraft's fuel range.
Satellite transmission data analyzed by U.S. investigators showed the missing plane's most likely last-known position was in a zone about 1,000 miles (1,690 km) west of Perth in Australia, Bloomberg said Sunday.
However, Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Monday he had no information that MH370 had come close to Australia.
KUALA LUMPUR, March 17 (Xinhua) -- The number of countries involved in search for the missing flight MH370 increased to 26 on Monday, according to a statement issued by Malaysian Ministry of Transport. Full Story
BEIJING, March 15 (Xinhua) -- China on Saturday urged Malaysia to continue providing more "thorough and correct information" about missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, after Malaysian Prime Minister claimed the plane deliberately steered off course. Full story
KUALA LUMPUR, March 15 (Xinhua) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said Saturday the disappearance of the missing Malaysia Airlines jet was deliberate, and the authorities have refocused their investigation into its crew and passengers. But he stopped short of confirming a hijack. Full story
NEW DELHI, March 16 (Xinhua) -- A top Indian military Air Force officer has ruled out the possibility that the Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 could have flown over India on way to Kazakhstan- Turkmenistan in Central Asia, said local media Sunday.Full story