PM to visit Malaysia on Thursday
Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra will travel from Bangkok to Malaysia on Thursday to attend the Thailand-Malaysia annual consultation in Putrajaya and for sideline talks on cooperation in arranging for discussions with southern insurgency leaders.
- Published: 27/02/2013 at 11:33 AM
- Newspaper section: breakingnews
She will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul, Defence Minister ACM Sukumpol Suwanatat, Transport Minister Chatchart Sitthipan, Commerce Minister Boonsong Teriyapirom, Interior Minister Charupong Ruangsuwan, Energy Minister Pongsak Raktapongpaisal and PM’s secretary general Suranand Vejjajiva.
Ms Yingluck is scheduled to hold a bilateral discussion with her Malaysian counterpart at 3pm, and at 4.30pm the two prime ministers will witness the signing of two agreements - cooperation on border crossings and youth and sport.
Secretary general of the National Security Council (NSC) Lt Gen Paradon Pattanathabutr said on Wednesday that the prime minister will take this opportunity to discuss ways to cooperate in ending the unrest in the far South with her Malaysian counterpart.
The discussion would focus on cooperation between the two countries in an arrangement for talks between Thai authorities and key members of separatist movements in the three southernmost provinces, he said.
Malaysia will act as a facilitator for the talks, not a mediator. It will help arrange a suitable venue for the meeting, Lt Gen Paradon said, adding that Thai authorities want discussions with all militant groups.
He said in order to make the talks possible, the government will be open to any conditions that are not in breach of the constotution. Any demand to separate territory from Thailand would definitely not be accepted.
The NSC secretary general insisted that holding talks would not mean upgrading the southern unrest problem, just an increase in cooperation because the situation in deep South showed that discussions are needed.
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