The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 will be "suspended" if the plane is not found in the current search area, a statement issued to the next of kin seen by Reuters said on Friday.
Ministers from Malaysia, China and Australia met in Kuala Lumpur today to discuss the future of the search in one of the world's greatest aviation mysteries.
The statement said ministers had agreed that if the plane is not found in current search area, and in the absence of new credible evidence on its location, the search "would not end, but be suspended".
MH370 disappeared during a flight from the Malaysian capital to Beijing in March 2014, carrying 239 people.
Almost A$180 million ($135 million) has been spent on an underwater search spanning 120,000 sq km in the southern Indian Ocean, the most expensive in aviation history.
The search, originally scheduled to end in June, has been hampered by bad weather.