Peace talks with southern insurgents to proceed


BANGKOK, July 7 — The Thai military council which seized power in a coup on May 22 has affirmed that peace talks with southern insurgents will proceed.

Deputy army chief Udomdej Sitabutr confirmed the continuation of peace negotiations while on his trip to the far south Monday morning to follow up local situations and meet local Islamic leaders on the occasion of the Ramadan month of fasting.

Gen Udomdej, secretary-general of the military’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO) and his delegation are visiting the southern border provinces of Yala and Pattani.

It is his first visit to the violence-plagued region in his capacity as the head of the committee designated to solve problems in southern border provinces.

Gen Udomdej said that the NCPO was seriously at work resolving problems in the southern border provinces and was integrating solutions.

He commented that incidents of violence were declining in the south year-on-year.

Regarding peace negotiation for the southernmost provinces, Gen Udomdej said that it would continue with care and attempts to develop mutual trust.

Forms of negotiation at the local level will be adjusted to create mutual trust, he said without elaborating.

Gen Udomdej confirmed that the secretary-general of the National Security Council continued to head the peace negotiation team of Thai authorities.