Malaysia silent as France reopens MH370 ‘box’

In this March 3, 2018, file photo, a girl writes a condolence message during the Day of Remembrance for MH370 event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian, File)
Updated 10 August 2018
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Malaysia silent as France reopens MH370 ‘box’

  • Malaysia Airlines' flight MH370, carrying 239 crew and passengers, went missing in March 2014, 40 minutes into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing
  • In July, Malaysian authorities released a 1,500-page final report that failed to provide any explanation for the flight’s disappearance

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia has been tight-lipped about French investigators’ decision to reopen the probe into the missing Malaysia Airlines' flight MH370 amid criticisms of the investigation by Malaysian authorities. 

In July, Malaysian authorities released a 1,500-page final report that failed to provide any explanation for the flight’s disappearance. 

The MH370, carrying 239 crew and passengers, went missing in March 2014, 40 minutes into a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

Victims’ relatives and friends continue to question the Malaysian report’s findings, with some citing the possibility of interference in the investigation. This has led to France’s Gendarmerie of Air Transport (GTA) launching its own probe.

The GTA is keen to re-examine all the technical data provided by British satellite operator Inmarsat in the hope of determining and confirming the aircraft’s flight path.

Malaysian authorities did not respond to requests from Arab News for comment. Dr. Oh Ei Sun, senior adviser at the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute, told Arab News that the “French connection” to this matter lies with the discovery of aircraft parts allegedly from the MH370 in the French overseas territory of Reunion. 

To date, more than 20 pieces of possible debris from the MH370 have been found along the African coast and islands in the Indian Ocean.

“It would be interesting to see how the French would go about their investigation differently, as supposedly both Malaysia and Australia conducted investigations with inconclusive results,” said Oh.

Aviation expert Rizal Kamaruzzaman disputed any “cover up” by Malaysian authorities. “Malaysia has no interest in concealing or manipulating facts in the report, as it has invested millions of dollars and expended civilian and military resources to get to the bottom of the issue,” he told Arab News.

“It would be desirable if a French investigation is able to extract additional data or facts from corporations under their jurisdiction. This could add to the body of knowledge that exists around the MH370,” he said.

“It’s important that French investigators start with the basics, such as reviewing the flight plan and any deviations.”

Many aviation experts would like to know the methods used by Inmarsat experts to predict the aircraft’s final position, he added.


Russia says Taliban will attend Afghanistan talks in Moscow

Updated 21 August 2018
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Russia says Taliban will attend Afghanistan talks in Moscow

MOSCOW: Russia's foreign minister said on Tuesday the Taliban have accepted an invitation to attend talks on Afghanistan in Moscow.

Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that Russia has invited the Taliban to the Sept. 4 talks and received a positive response, voicing hope for “productive” negotiations, AP reported.

Lavrov reaffirmed that Russia's contacts with the Taliban aimed to ensure the safety of Russian citizens in Afghanistan and encourage the Taliban to abandon hostilities and engage in a dialogue with the government.

Foreign Ministry official Zamir Kabulov was cited by Interfax on Monday as saying Moscow had invited the Taliban, which is banned in Russia and considered a terrorist organisation.

Many of the Taliban's leadership were former Mujahideen fighters who battled the Soviet Union after its invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 until a humiliating 

Russia's Foreign Ministry also strongly rejected the claim by Afghan Ambassador to Moscow, Abdul Qayyum Kochai, who said that Russia hopes to use the Taliban to combat the Daesh. 

It hailed the Afghan government's offer of a holiday cease-fire, adding that the Taliban's apparent rejection of it is regrettable.

Abdul Kayum Kuchai, Afghanistan's ambassador in Moscow, welcomed the Taliban's involvement in the talks, the RIA news agency reported.

Russia conducted international talks on Afghanistan in April last year, but the United States did not attend.

In Kabul on Tuesday, an hours-long attack came to an ened when two militants were killed in a clearance operation, the military said.