Aircraft debris found on an island in the Indian Ocean on 29 July will be transported to France to determine whether it belongs to the Boeing 777-200 that went missing with Malaysia Airlines flight MH370.

Malaysia prime minister Najib Razak said in a statement that it remains “too early to speculate” about the origin of the debris, although he acknowledges it is “very likely to be from a Boeing 777”.

The flaperon-like object was discovered on a beach on Reunion Island, an overseas territory of France in the Indian Ocean lying about 3,262nm (6,042km) from the west Coast of Australia.

Australian and Malaysian investigators used a series of satellite handshakes with MH370 to loosely track the aircraft to a large area of the Indian Ocean west of Perth, Australia. MH370 disappeared early on 8 March during a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

As a territory of France, the debris found on the Reunion falls under the jurisdiction of the French safety investigation agency BEA. The item will be shipped to BEA offices in Toulouse, Razak says.

“As soon as we have more information or any verification we will make it public,” he says.