Thailand has asked Malaysia to support its position on the situation in the deep South at the Foreign Ministerial Meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) next month in Djibouti.
As Thailand is not a member of the OIC, Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul made the request to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak during his one-day visit to Malaysia on Monday.
Thailand expressed hope a resolution on Muslim minorities in the deep South, drafted by the OIC, would reflect Thai efforts to solve the situation in the region, said Mr Surapong.
Government sources said the OIC secretariat will propose a resolution on safeguarding the rights of Muslim communities in non-OIC states at the meeting.
The sources said the OIC has included five paragraphs in its resolution, expressing concern over the situation in southern Thailand.
OIC Adviser and Special Envoy Sayed Kassem El-Masry, during his visit to Thailand in May, praised the Thai policy towards the southern problems.
Thailand hopes to get support from Malaysia at the OIC meeting to push for reconsideration of the resolution to better reflect the efforts of the Thai government in solving the problem, said the sources.
Mr Razak reportedly told Mr Surapong that his country is ready to cooperate with Thailand to resolve the southern insurgency.
Meanwhile, Thailand is preparing to hold a tripartite meeting with Malaysia and Indonesia to discuss economic development.
Mr Surapong said the three countries should export value-added rubber products, instead of raw rubber materials, to their trade partners. The matter will be discussed in greater detail during a joint commission for bilateral cooperation and development strategy for the border area, to be held in Phuket later this year.
Other issues to be discussed include problems over dual nationality and with Thai labourers illegally entering Malaysia.
About 200,000 legal and illegal Thai labourers work in Malaysia.
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- Writer: Thanida Tansubhapol