Anwar, Prayuth expected to focus on peace in southern Thailand

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Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is set to meet Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha in his first official trip to the country.

BANGKOK: Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim is expected to revive a decade-long peace negotiation in southern Thailand during a four-eyed meeting with Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha tomorrow.

“We will leave the matter to be discussed by the two leaders during their meeting,” said foreign minister Zambry Abd Kadir.

“Whilst discussing bilateral matters, both leaders will most certainly discuss issues that will benefit both parties,” he said during a press conference ahead of Anwar’s visit.

Zambry was asked if Anwar would provide hope to resolve the long-standing conflict in southern Thailand which had seen more than 7,000 people killed.

Malaysia has served as a facilitator to resolve a decade-long conflict that escalated in January 2004 in southern Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and parts of Songkhla.

Former Armed Forces general Zulkifli Zainal Abidin was appointed the government’s chief facilitator in the dialogue for truce in southern Thailand since the start of the year.

While discussions were held between the Thai government and insurgents since 2013, the talks came to a grinding halt when the army took control in Thailand a year later.

Talks then resumed without the involvement of the main parties, including Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN).

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