PM to visit Australia to witness jet search

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iol pic wld Malaysia Plane~13 AP South Korean Navy Lieutenant Commander Oh Kang-Min, right, waits to meet Australian PM Tony Abbott in front of a Royal Australian Air Force AP-3C Orion aircraft at RAAF Base Pearce near Perth. Picture: Jason Reed

Perth - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak will travel to an Australian air force base near Perth to observe the multi-nation search for missing flight MH370, his government said on Monday.

Transport and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Najib would make the trip on Wednesday.

“Our prime minister has decided to travel to Perth on Wednesday for a working visit to Pearce Air force base to see the operations first hand and also to thank the personnel involved in the multinational search effort, including the Malaysian personnel,” Hishammuddin said during a press briefing.

Najib said a week ago the plane is believed to have disappeared in the southern Indian Ocean. As the nearest country to the suspected crash site, Australia has become the staging ground for the expansive search.

Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 with 239 people aboard mysteriously veered off course while travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8.

An intensive search for debris has been under way far off the coast of western Australia for the past two weeks, after search efforts had initially focused on the South China Sea.

But no wreckage has turned up and the clock is ticking on the 30-day signal emitted by the plane's black box, which could hold clues to the cause of what is being described as one of aviation's greatest mysteries. - AFP

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