Working together : Najib talking to Zhang (left) during their discussions on further action to locate MH370 at Parliament House. — Bernama
KUALA LUMPUR: The unprecedented multinational cooperation in the search for MH370 has proven to be an asset in Malaysia’s bilateral ties with other counties, said Acting Transport Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
The Prime Minister, he said, would be visiting China in May while United States President Barack Obama was expected to come here next month.
“So, basically, the unprecedented cooperation looking for MH370 is actually going to be an asset in both those visits,” he said here yesterday.
Hishammuddin was asked if the wave of anger from the families of Chinese passengers onboard the MH370 plane would affect its bilateral ties with China.
On Tuesday, the families staged a demonstration in front of the Malaysian Embassy in Beijing.
A comprehensive briefing from the international technical team as well as a full update on the latest Inmarsat information had been given to the Chinese Government’s Special Envoy Zhang Yesui and his delegation during his meeting yesterday, said Hishammuddin.
“During our conversation, he (Zhang) conveyed China’s commitment to continue and intensify the search operation in any way possible and to deploy any asset that may be required,” he said, adding that the Prime Minister had also met Zhang, who is China’s Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In The Hague, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said Chinese President Xi Jinping had expressed hope that the incident would not dampen bilateral ties with Malaysia.
He said Xi told him that he understood the real situation as the incident was unexpected.
“As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations with China this year, President Xi hopes that the incident will not affect our good ties,” said Muhyiddin.
Xi had said this when Muhyiddin met him on the sidelines of the Third Biennial Nuclear Security Summit to personally thank China for assisting in the Search and Rescue mission to locate the MH370 plane.
Muhyiddin also met leaders from Australia, Japan, Thailand, Singapore, India, United Arab Emirates, Britain, United States and Vietnam to express appreciation for their assistance and cooperation.
Among others, he met Obama, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, British Prime Minister David Cameron, United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loon.
Obama, said Muhyiddin, had assured Malaysia that the United States would continue to assist in the search for the missing plane and that he understood the difficulties faced.