PM may discuss South with Malaysian counterpart at APEC

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BANGKOK, Sept 3 – Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra said Monday she will possibly raise the issue of Thailand’s southern violence during talks with her Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Russia this weekend.

The Sept 7-9 APEC meeting, she said, will offer an opportunity to maintain the good relationship between the two countries in light of the escalating disturbances in Thailand’s deep South, including areas bordering Malaysia.

Ms Yingluck confirmed that the government has continued to communicate with Malaysia on the southern situation.

She added that she welcomes the opposition’s participation in solving the southern problems, adding that the government has assigned state agencies concerned to collect relevant information in the South for an in-depth assessment and operation.

The premier was apparently referring to an announcement by the leader of the Bersatu separatist group to liberate what they called the “Pattani State.”

“We have to analyse to see if our personnel and equipment are sufficient to cope with violences which have taken place inside and outside the “safety zones,” she said.

Deputy Premier Yuthasak Sasiprapa had earlier called a meeting of senior officials in charge of dealing with the southern disturbances to learn from them their needs, she said.