By Hu Guangyao
KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Malaysia is deeply indebted to China for all its help in the search for flight MH370, said Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in an exclusive interview with Xinhua on Saturday. "The disappearance of MH370 is a very tragic event. It is also completely unprecedented,"he said.
The prime minister who will pay an official visit to China from May 27 to June 1 , said Malaysia and China have worked extremely closely together, from the moment the plane disappeared.
He said Malaysian officials, at every level of government, have briefed their Chinese counterparts and Chinese authorities are part of the international investigation team that has helped to narrow down the search area off western Australia.
On the searching efforts, Najib said China, Australia and Malaysia are committed to doing everything it takes to find MH370. The three governments are working closely together and will continue the underwater search for the missing jet. "I am hopeful we will find the plane, and many of the questions about why this tragedy happened will be answered,"he said.
On the families of the passengers, he said Malaysia understands the importance of keeping the families of those on board the flight posted about the search.
Malaysia Airlines has a dedicated team committed to providing the families with information and support and the Malaysian government is providing the Chinese and people of other countries with updates and new information as soon as they receive it, he said.
Malaysia has also gone to great lengths to make public as much information as possible. That is why, on May 1, the country publicly released information including the preliminary report, recordings of the cockpit conversation, the cargo manifest, seating plan and flight maps.
As to China's efforts and role in searching the missing flight, Najib said"I am very grateful for the contribution made by China both in terms of expertise and technical know-how and in terms of the assets China has contributed to the search operation, including many aircraft and ships". "I think the friendship between our two countries is strong enough to withstand the challenges brought upon us by the search for MH370, which has been difficult and complex," he said. "Malaysia is deeply indebted to China for all its help. We could not have made so much progress in the search without China's considerable contribution," he added. "Amidst the challenges of MH370, we have to keep an eye on the bigger picture, the history between our two nations and the opportunity that the future offers if we continue to work together in partnership,"Najib said.