Talks to end crisis not over, but signs positive

Talks to end crisis not over, but signs positive

Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, centre, chairs a meeting aimed at resolving the political crisis at the Army Club.
Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, centre, chairs a meeting aimed at resolving the political crisis at the Army Club.

The parties involved in the political conflict have agreed that the crisis must end quickly after talks with the army chief to find a common solution.

Army chief Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha, centre, leads security agency figures, including national police chief Pol Gen Adul Saengsingkaew, second left, and navy commander Adm Narong Pipattanasai, second right, from the Army Club on Wednesday after holding the first round of talks with seven parties to try to end the political conflict.

After more than two hours of talks at the Army Club, the meeting brokered by Gen Prayuth Chan-ocha ended with at least one positive sign.

"All conflicting parties want to see a solution soon. They want to see happiness return as soon as possible,'' army spokeswoman Col Sirichan Ngathong said.

The participants left the club on Vibhavadi Rangsit Road, which is the headquarters for the Peace and Order Maintaining Centre, with a day to reconsider their positions before going back for another round of talks on Thursday.

They put their stances on the table and will return to the venue in an attempt to thrash out their differences, she said.

Col Winthai Suwaree, another army deputy spokesman, said a good sign in the first round of talks was that no side showed opposition to the differences of opinion.

He cautioned that the attempt to bring the country out of the crisis might not be possible overnight and there was no guarantee that the solution will be reached on Thursday.

Representatives from the caretaker government, the Pheu Thai Party, the United Front for Democracy against Dictatorship (UDD), the Democrat Party, the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), the Election Commission and the Senate were called to the meeting by Gen Prayuth after he declared martial law on Wednesday.

Col Winthai said the army chief did not influence the meeting and offered solutions.

"The floor was opened for all parties with the army chief listening without making any proposal,'' he said.

The army chief and all parties were tight-lipped after the meeting.

All key leaders involved in the conflict joined the meeting except acting caretaker Prime Minister Niwattumrong Boonsongpaisan and Pheu Thai leader Jarupong Ruangsuwan.

The prime minister had informed Gen Prayuth about the government representatives.

Pheu Thai spokesman Prompong Nopparit said the party leader could not attend the meeting as he was in Udon Thani.


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