Thailand asks Malaysia to facilitate southern peace negotiations

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha confirmed in talks with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak today that Thailand wants Malaysia to continue to facilitate its peace talks with the southern insurgency movements. 

He also urged border economic zone development with Malaysia.

Thai government spokesman Yongyuth Mayalarp said after the prime ministers discussion in Kuala Lumpur today that Thailand would support Malaysia’s role as both ASEAN chair and as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council in 2015.

Gen Prayut also confirmed that Malaysia would continue its facilitator’s role in Thailand’s peace negotiations with the southern insurgency movements.

Both countries would discuss details of the negotiation to ensure that the process would really make progress, the spokesman said.

The Thai and Malaysian prime ministers agreed to develop road and railway connectivity between their countries as well as a joint border economic zone. In this respect, Thailand proposed a Sadao-Padang Besar special economic zone, Dr Yongyuth said.

The Thai prime minister also suggested both countries invest in each other’s country. The Thai government assigned the Board of Investment to change regulations to facilitate foreign investment, the spokesman said.

In addition, both sides intended to increase the value of their mutual trade from Bt800 billion last year to Bt1 trillion next year.

Dr Yongyuth quoted the Malaysian prime minister as supporting the special economic zone idea and railway and road connectivity that could be extended to India and China.