OIC welcomes Ramadan ceasefire initiative in southern Thailand


BANGKOK, July 10 — Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu welcomed the initiative between the Thai government and Muslim militant groups in the southern provinces to engage in a ceasefire during the holy month of Ramadan.

The OIC secretary general said in a statement dated July 8 on the OIC website that the month of Ramadan is an important time of spiritual devotion which emphasises the values of patience and restraint and focuses on worship, spiritual tranquility and peace.

He encouraged both sides to abide by the principles of the ceasefire and expressed hope that the ceasefire would lead to further peaceful developments and increased confidence building measures towards an ultimate resolution of conflicts in the South.

The secretary general indicated that the OIC is ready to be a partner in the process so that peace, security, economic development and prosperity could be enjoyed by all peoples of Southern Thailand.

The statement said the secretary general was briefed on this initiative and other developments in the region during his meeting with Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on July 6 when she officially visited Turkey.

During the meeting with Mr Ihsanoglu, Ms Yingluck expressed her government’s desire to engage positively with the OIC on the issue of the southern border provinces and emphasised her wish to secure peace and stability in that region.

Meanwhile, Mr  Ihsanoglu reiterated the position of the OIC to support all peaceful initiatives that guaranteed the human rights of citizens and developed mutual understanding, dialogue and cooperation for the betterment of all communities in both Thailand and the wider region.