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Li Keqiang Holds Telephone Talks with Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia at His Request, Discussing Next Phase of Search Operation for the Missing Malaysia Airlines Flight

In the afternoon of April 30, 2014, Premier Li Keqiang held telephone talks with Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia at his request.

Being briefed the next-phase arrangements for the search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, Li Keqiang said that the international community has made tremendous efforts in the search of the flight. China highly appreciates and sincerely thanks the Australian side for being the coordinator for the search mission in the South Indian Ocean, inputing quite a large amount of human and material resources, making great efforts and strongly supporting the Chinese vessels and aircrafts for the search.

Li Keqiang noted that the search operation for the missing flight has now entered into a new phase. The vessels from Australia, Malaysia and China will continue their search efforts and the focal point will shift to a far larger area of underwater search. Despite of greater difficulties, more arduous tasks and longer time, the operation must continue and go ahead without any slack. This is the due obligation to the families of all the people on board. China is willing to join efforts with all parties including Australia to make and implement a plan for the next phase of regular search operation as soon as possible, and would do its utmost to actively participate in the operation. China is ready to send senior officials to the ministerial meeting between China, Australia and Malaysia on the search operation, which is scheduled in early May.

Li Keqiang spoke positively of the current China-Australia relations and the successful visit to China paid by Tony Abbott recently. He hoped that both sides could enhance cooperation for the success of the APEC Informal Leadership Meeting and the G20 Summit, which will be hosted by the two countries respectively within this year.

Tony Abbott said that Australia will intensify its underwater search efforts for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight in the South Indian Ocean and expand the search scope without any slack. Australia appreciates the active participation of Chinese aircraft and vessels in the previous phase of search, and stands ready to maintain close communication and coordination with China and Malaysia on the search in the next phase. He hoped that the operation would get continuous support from China and Malaysia. The Australian side is willing to make concerted efforts with China to continuously enhance the Australia-China strategic partnership.

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