Bilateral talks with Malaysia will focus on the twin MH17 and MH370 disasters when Tony Abbott heads to the Southeast Asian nation next week.

The shared grief of the twin Malaysia Airlines disasters will cast a sombre tone over Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s visit to Malaysia next week.

Mr Abbott will discuss trade and defence ties with Prime Minister Najib Razak in Kuala Lumpur, as well as greater opportunities for Australian students to study in Malaysia.

But the Australia-led search for missing Malaysia Airlines plane MH370 and the downing of MH17 over Ukraine is expected to top the agenda.

Mr Abbott said Australia felt a “deep connection” with Malaysia since the disasters, which happened just months apart.

Malaysia will be the second stop in Mr Abbott’s itinerary.

First he will spend two days in India meeting the country’s new prime minister Narendra Modi and promoting Australia’s trade and investment agenda ahead of the G20 in Brisbane in November.

Mr Modi will be the first Indian leader to visit Australia in 28 years when he attends the summit.

Mr Abbott is also expected to finalise a long-awaited deal so Australia can begin selling uranium to India.

Negotiation on nuclear safeguards has been dragging for years and any outcome will prove controversial, as India has not signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.