Malaysian officials ‘working tirelessly’ to recover jet, Obama says

President Obama on Sunday said the Malaysian government is “working tirelessly” to recover a missing Malaysia Airlines jet and find out what happened.

“I can’t speak for all the countries in the region, but I can say that the United States and other partners have found the Malaysian government eager for assistance, have been fully forthcoming with us in terms of the information that they have,” Obama said during a press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur. “And this is a joint effort. It’s not easy.”

Flight 370, which was carrying 239 people, disappeared seven weeks ago. Search efforts are focused in the southern Indian Ocean.

“Obviously, we don’t know all the details of what happened, but we do know that if, in fact, the plane went down in the ocean in this part of the world, that is a big, big place and it is a very challenging effort and laborious effort that’s going to take quite some time,” Obama added.

Obama said he and Najib discussed some of the lessons that are being learned from the tragedy, adding that he understands “the heartache that the families are going through and wanting answers.”

“I think it’s very important -- and I said to Prime Minister Najib -- that there should be full transparency in terms of what we know, what we don’t know, how the process is proceeding,” he said. “But I can tell you that the United States is absolutely committed to providing whatever resources and assets that we can and that the Malaysian government has been very welcoming of that assistance.”

“Over the past two months, the strength of our relationship has been revealed for all to see. From the day MH370 went missing, the United States lent its considerable expertise to the investigation and its unique capabilities and assets to the search effort. We are grateful to you for standing by Malaysia in our hour of need,” Najib said.