No Role for Cambodia in Effort to Find Downed Malaysian Plane

As regional governments rallied to assist in the search for Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, which disappeared Saturday over the South China Sea between Malaysia and Vietnam, officials said it was unlikely Cambodia could contribute to the effort.

The disappearance of the Beijing-bound Boeing 777 jet, which was carrying 239 passengers, has seen several regional nations put aside their differences over maritime claims to the South China Sea to cooperate in the search effort.

Vietnam has been leading the search operation in waters that run close to its maritime border with Cambodia, while Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, and China, which had 159 passengers on board, are together scouring the sea using warships and aircraft for signs of wreckage.

The Thai navy was also on Sunday lending vessels and aircraft to the mission, while the U.S Navy has also sent a destroyer to the region.

Kheng Tito, spokesman for the National Military Police, said that no decision had been taken on whether Cambodia would participate, although he added it was unlikely Cambodia could help.

“Even the U.S., China, and Vietnam cannot find the aircraft and Cambodia does not have that kind of technology,” he said, adding that Cambodia could possibly help when the wreckage is found.

“The government is ready to help the victims,” he said.

Government spokesman Phay Siphan said that despite the territorial dispute in the region, Asean has an open sea policy.

“There is an agreement in place should any search and rescue operations need to be carried out.”

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