Relatives of MH370 Victims to Appeal to Malaysian Minister Over Search

Malaysian transport minister to meet with MH370 families in Perth

Relatives of MH370 Victims to Appeal to Malaysian Minister Over Search

In a report released in December by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau, experts recommended for a search to continue in a new 25,000 square kilometer area to the north of the searched zone.

Australian transport minister Darren Chester said it was understandable relatives and the search team were disappointed to have no answers nearly three years on.

Joined in Perth by counterparts from China and Australia to welcome ashore crew members from the returned Fugro Equator search vessel, the minister reiterated that the underwater search would only be restarted if "credible new evidence" as to the plane's whereabouts was discovered.

Chester and Liow will welcome the search vessel, Fugro Equator, back to Fremantle on Monday, putting an end to a recovery operation that has scoured a 120,000-sq-km (46,000-sq-mile) area of the Indian Ocean sea floor.

Wreckage of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is "highly likely" to be somewhere north of the area where the almost three-year long search was suspended last Tuesday, according to the head of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).

MH370 went missing on March 8, 2014, during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, with a total of 239 people on board.

"Having met a number of family members personally, they continue to have protracted and prolonged grief".

Relatives of victims onboard missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 said on Sunday they plan to deliver personal letters to Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lai while he visits Australia, urging him to resume the search for the missing jet.

"I understand the disappointment and frustration felt by the families", he said.

Three pieces have been confirmed as definitely being from MH370, another five are considered "most certainly" from the plane and the rest are still being evaluated.

Liow also contradicted an earlier statement from his deputy that the Malaysian government was offering a reward to any private company that found the plane's fuselage.

While some experts believe the plane is likely to be located just outside the vast area that was searched, the investigation will now take a different turn.

Liow said the Malaysian government would continue to work with countries along southern Africa and the surrounding islands to retrieve more debris and analyse ocean drift patterns.

"We need more credible evidence before we move to the next search area", he said.

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