Fresh round of southern peace negotiation made good start


BANGKOK — The first round of resumed southern peace negotiation with insurgency representatives satisfactorily came up with mutual intention for peaceful solutions and agreement on talk process, said Gen Wallop Raksanoh, chief of the Thai negotiation team.

Gen Wallop said that the talk happened in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 20. His team included representatives from the Justice Ministry, the National Security Council, the Foreign Ministry, the National Intelligence Agency and the Internal Security Operations Command. They met a delegation of the Islamic independence movement Barisan Revolusi Nasional, led by Anas Abdulrahman.

“The talk made a good start as a BRN leader led his team to talk with us and we are confident that he is the real leader. People in the group are not those who participated in previous talks,” Gen Wallop said.

Participants in the talk showed mutual intention to solve problems and restore peace in southern border provinces through peaceful methods and also came up with mutually accepted negotiation procedures, he said.

Gen Wallop also said that the Jan 20 talk did not include a representative from the Mara Patani group.

“For the first round, we wanted to talk with the most powerful group in the region, which is BRN. However, Thailand is open to opinions from all groups. It is likely that subsequent negotiation will occur with a specific group at a time,” he said.

He thanked Malaysia for facilitating the Jan 20 meeting.