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MH370 search to end 29 May: new government

Malaysia's new government has declared that the current search effort for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 will end on 29 May.

Transport minister Anthony Loke says that the government, which has just taken power, is "committed" to continuing the search until that date, but has yet to make a decision on how to proceed afterwards.

The US specialist Ocean Infinity has been conducting a detailed underwater survey since January in a bid to locate the wreckage of the Boeing 777-200ER which vanished en route to Beijing in March 2014.

But the hunt, in the Indian Ocean west of Australia, has failed to turn up any confirmed sighting.

Ocean Infinity stated, in its most recent update on the effort, that it had started scanning a third search site on 7 May. By 13 May it had covered 33,000km² of this third site, having already scanned 53,000km² during the course of its work in the first two search sites.

"We're committed to continue the search to 29 May," says Loke, adding that the government will "honour" the agreement with Ocean Infinity until then, but that the contract "will not be extended" beyond this date.

"We'll make a decision after 29 May, depending on the results of the search."

Until then, he says, any suggestions regarding the new government's approach to the investigation are "premature".

But Loke stresses that the government is "committed to being transparent" over the inquiry into MH370's disappearance, insisting that he was not aware of any information being concealed or suppressed.

"As minister of transport I'm committed to make sure every report, every detail of the report, will be [made public]," he says.

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