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Australia PM Has Hope Teams Will Solve MH370 Mystery

The prime minister said that two Chinese aircraft and two Japanese ones were joining the search mission Sunday.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said Sunday he was hopeful search teams were getting closer to solving the mystery of the Malaysia Airlines jet that vanished on March 8.

"It's still too early to be definite, but obviously, we have now had a number of very credible leads and there is increasing hope, no more than hope, no more than hope, that we might be on the road to discovering what did happen to this ill-fated aircraft," Abbott said.

Aircraft and merchant vessels have been scouring a search zone drawn up after objects were spotted by satellite in distant waters off Australia.

Abbott said new Chinese satellite imagery seems to show a large floating object similar to one spotted by satellite in a 22,300-square-mile area in the remotest reaches of the southern Indian Ocean.

The prime minister added that two Chinese aircraft and two Japanese ones were joining the search mission Sunday.

"The more aircraft we have, the more ships we have, the more confident we are of recovering whatever material is down there and obviously, before we can be too specific about what it might be, we do actually need to recover some of this material," Abbott said.

On Saturday, a civilian aircraft helping in the search reported seeing a number of small objects, including a wooden pallet, Australian officials said.

The objects, which were spotted with the naked eye, were the only positive result from an otherwise fruitless search of the inhospitable waters as investigators look for possible wreckage of the missing Flight 370.

On Sunday, Abbott reinforced the searchers' commitment to solving the mystery.

"We owe it to the almost 240 people on board the plane, we owe it to their grieving families, we owe it to the governments of the countries concerned to do everything we can to discover as much as we can about the fate of MH370," he said.

—Becky Bratu and Sarah Burke