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Hunt for flight MH370 dominates Kuala Lumpur talks

Reporter: Rian Maelzer 丨 CCTV.com

06-19-2014 06:48 BJT

Full coverage: Malaysia Airlines Plane Bound for Beijing Goes Missing

More than a hundred days ago, Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared without trace. Now, Kuala Lumpur, the city the plane departed from, is hosting a major international conference, bringing together international search and rescue specialists from both governments and private sector. It’s no surprise that the event is being dominated but the ongoing hunt for MH370.

Organizers never imagined that the city they chose to host this conference would end up at heart of what’s become the biggest international search effort ever.

The delegates from Asia, Australasia, Europe and Africa who gathered here had plenty of praise for the coordination of the multinational search for flight MH370, but also see shortcomings.

"There is a willingness to work together but sadly there is no mechanism in place to coordinate regional response." Lt. Gen. William Stevenson with Malaysian Inst. Of Defense And Security said.

Some participants called for the urgent establishment of an Asean centre to coordinate Search and Rescue efforts.

Speakers, who include a senior representative of China’s main search organization, will be dissecting the MH370 case.

"We are going to look at the international collaboration aspect, the logistics aspect, the technological aspect and so on. Towards the end of the conference we’ll be coming up with recommendations that we are going to propose to the government organizations agencies as well as all the SAR agencies." Conference organizer Murali Bhaskaran said.

As the search for MH370 drags on, participants say it has shown not only the potential for inter-governmental cooperation, but also between government and private sector.

The Australian authorities have appointed a Dutch company to join with a Chinese naval vessel to conduct a survey of the seafloor in the search area. The goal is to create a detailed map which will assist with the undersea search in the months ahead.

"The level of military cooperation among a grouping of countries that contains several antagonists has been unprecedented." Retired Malaysian Rear Admiral K. Thanabalasingam said.

Some believe that collaboration could have longer term benefits.

"I think it forms the basis of a much more productive relationship. In my view, you find areas that you can work together and work together well, and build on that rather than focussing on the areas in which you might have disagreements or trouble." Prof. David Brewster with Australian National University said.

A lofty hope, perhaps, of some lasting good coming out of the disappearance of Flight MH370.

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