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New Delhi ready to join international efforts

Indonesian Air Force officers examine a map of the Malacca Strait during a briefing following a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, at Suwondo air base in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Wednesday, March 12, 2014. Malaysia asked India to join the expanding search for the missing jetliner near the Andaman Sea, far to the northwest of its last reported position and a further sign Wednesday that authorities have no idea where the plane might be more than four days after it vanished. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)

Indonesian Air Force officers examine a map of the Malacca Strait during a briefing following a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777, at Suwondo air base in Medan, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Wednesday, March 12, 2014. Malaysia asked India to join the expanding search for the missing jetliner near the Andaman Sea, far to the northwest of its last reported position and a further sign Wednesday that authorities have no idea where the plane might be more than four days after it vanished. (AP Photo/Binsar Bakkara)   | Photo Credit: Binsar Bakkara

The search area for the IAF is likely to be the Malacca Strait near the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

India is prepared to contribute to the international efforts in tracing the Malaysian aircraft that went missing five days back.

India could provide satellite imagery and radar readings besides ships and maritime reconnaissance aircraft to hunt for the plane following a request by Malaysia on Tuesday, said official sources.

However, they discounted the possibility of the plane having gone down unnoticed in the vicinity of India’s maritime domain near the Malacca Straits as it is one of the world’s busiest shipping passages. Malaysia made the request after the search for the aircraft was expanded to the Andaman Sea.

On Sunday, India offered any kind of help to Malaysia to trace the aircraft. “I have sent my condolences and our Ambassadors are in touch. We are ready to give any help, if required, or share information if we get any,” External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said on Sunday.

“We are appointing designated people to deal with the issue and also take forward the process of sharing information in this regard,” said Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.

Already, 10 countries have provided their planes and ships to look for the missing plane in South China Sea.

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Printable version | Apr 7, 2020 1:37:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/new-delhi-ready-to-join-international-efforts/article5776093.ece

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