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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  19 March 2014  

Central Asian states report no sightings of Malaysian jet

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan: The Central Asian states of Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan on Monday said there had been no sightings of the missing Malaysian passenger jet following reports that it may have reached their airspace.

According to one of the possible scenarios, the Malaysia Airlines MH370 plane that mysteriously went missing on March 8 could have flown north as far as the ex-Soviet country of Kazakhstan.

"There was no unsanctioned use of Kazakhstan's airspace on that day," the head of the country's civil aviation authority, Serik Mukhtybayev, told the Interfax-Kazakhstan news agency.

Mukhtybayev said that "Kazakhstan could be seen as one of the extreme points of this flight," but added that the plane would already have been spotted on the way.

"Before reaching Kazakhstan, the plane would have to cross the territory of other countries en route, where the air zone is also carefully monitored."

He said that Malaysia had not made an official request to Kazakhstan to look for the plane but that it was ready to help.

"Currently the aviation authorities of Kazakhstan have not received any request from our Malaysian colleagues on organising a rescue or other kind of operation, but if we get a request, we will react."

In Kyrgyzstan, which lies south of Kazakhstan, President Almazbek Atambayev agreed to "show cooperation in the search for the Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777," the government press service said.

The country's civil aviation authority and air defence forces "will provide all the necessary information to our Malaysian colleagues," the statement said.

Atambayev expressed his sympathy for the relatives and said he hoped the jet would be located soon.-- AFP/rw

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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