SEPANG – Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrived today for a one-day official visit to Malaysia that will see him mainly discuss bilateral cooperation in relation to the two recent Malaysia Airlines’ flight tragedies.
Abbott flew in by a special Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) aircraft to the KL International Airport (KLIA) at 6.40 am and was greeted by Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Abdul Aziz Kaprawi.
This first visit by Abbott to Malaysia since his appointment as the Prime Minister of Australia on Sept 18 last year is set to strengthen the cordial relations between the two countries.
Abbott is scheduled to have a restricted meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, which will be followed by a delegation meeting that will cover bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest.
The visiting prime minister will be accorded an official welcome at Dataran Perdana in Putrajaya.
He is also scheduled to attend an official lunch at the prime minister’s residence, Seri Perdana, also in Putrajaya.
According to Wisma Putra, high on the agenda will be discussions on the status of the two countries’ cooperation in relation to the Malaysia Airlines (MAS) Flight MH370 and Flight MH17 incidents.
The two prime ministers are also scheduled to meet with the Malaysian personnel who were involved in the MH370 and MH17 search operations to express appreciation for the work that they have done.
Flight MH370 dropped off radar on March 8 as it flew from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 227 passengers and 12 crew on board.
The Boeing 777 aircraft has yet to be found, even after an exhaustive search in the southern Indian Ocean where it is believed to have gone down after veering off course.
A renewed search effort has been mounted for the aircraft, with the Malaysian and Australian governments having signed a memorandum of understanding last month.
Flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine on July 17 as it was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur with 283 passengers and 15 crew on board.
The Boeing 777-200 aircraft is believed to have been shot down over the troubled country.
Malaysians and Australians were among the nationals of several countries on board the two flights.
Since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Malaysia and Australia in 1957, the two countries enjoy excellent and vibrant ties, buoyed by substantive cooperation notably in the areas of trade and investment, education, defence, security and people-to-people links. – Bernama