Vietnam is halting its search in the East Sea for the missing plane of the Malaysia Airlines, but stands ready to do the work in other areas in its capacity if the Malaysian side requests, an official has said.

Speaking at the office of the National Committee for Search and Rescue on March 15 afternoon, Lt. Gen. Vo Van Tuan, Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Vietnam People’s Army, further said Vietnamese Ambassador to Malaysia Nguyen Hong Thao had called to inform about outcomes of the press conference held earlier the same day by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, during which he said the search in the East Sea is halted.

Sen. Lt. Gen. Do Ba Ty, Chief of the General Staff, said at a meeting on March 15 afternoon that Vietnam will ask its forces to stop the search but stay in the places where they are, and inform foreign forces permitted to do the work in the areas managed by Vietnam to pull out.

With a high sense of responsibility, Vietnam has deployed its forces in the largest scale in the search with 11 aircraft and seven ships together with ground forces of Military Regions 5,7 and 9, border guards, coast guards, locals and all fishing boats and ships in the sea. The search area was widened to 87,000 square kilometres and later to all the waters managed by Vietnam from the initial 40,000 square kilometres.

The aircraft have made 55 sorties and the boats and ships combed over 100,000 square kilometres of the sea.

The Boeing 777-200 with 239 passengers and crew members was making Flight MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing when it lost radar contact in the early morning of March 8.-VNA