Malcolm Turnbull (PHOTO: AFP)
Australia will do "everything it can" to assist in a new search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 should more evidence arise indicating to the aircraft's location, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Friday.
In January, a joint statement from Australia, China and Malaysia confirmed that the ocean search for the missing Boeing 777 jet, which disappeared on March 8, 2014 en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, would be suspended until "credible new evidence" can lead to a "specific" location, Xinhua news agency reported.
The joint search was described as the largest in aviation history and covered more than 120,000 sq.km of the Southern Indian Ocean, but was ultimately unsuccessful.
A spokesperson for Turnbull said the government was very much hoping to still find the plane, which was carrying six Australians and 153 Chinese nationals at the time.
"The Prime Minister raises this issue with his Malaysian counterpart every time they speak," the spokesperson told News Corp.
"Malaysia is the lead nation in the investigation into the disappearance of MH370, but Australia stands ready to assist in any way it can."
"At present, the search for MH370 has been suspended, but if any credible evidence emerges, the Australian government will do everything it can in partnership with Malaysia to ensure the search is resumed," he said.
The MH370 was a scheduled passenger flight carrying 239 passengers and crew, and is believed to have crashed into the Southern Indian Ocean, well off Australia's western coastline.
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