Hagel Assures Malaysian Counterpart of U.S. Commitment to Search

Rescue helicopter (AP Photo)This article was originally published on the Defense Department website on March 18.

Washington — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke with Malaysian Defense Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein on March 17 to discuss the ongoing search for Malaysian Airlines Flight 370.

In a statement summarizing the phone call, assistant Pentagon press secretary Carl Woog said Hagel conveyed that the United States remains fully committed to working with the Malaysian government to find the plane and that the U.S. Navy has re-tasked reconnaissance aircraft to search the Indian Ocean’s southern corridor.

“Secretary Hagel noted that this search mission is in many ways unprecedented and thanked Minister Hishammuddin for his government’s collaboration with international partners,” Woog said.

Hagel also told Hishammuddin that he looks forward to seeing the minister at the upcoming U.S.-Association of Southeast Asian Nations defense forum in Honolulu, Woog said, and noted the meeting will provide a good opportunity to continue discussions on humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, among other areas of mutual concern.

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