The peace talks to resolve the southern Thailand conflict between the Thai government and Mara Patani, a separatist umbrella group, would resume tomorrow in Kuala Lumpur, said Gen Prawit Wongsuwan today.
However, the Thai deputy prime minister said, both sides would not sign any agreement on the terms of reference (TOR) of the peace talks during their meeting tomorrow.
“The team (government peace talks team) will go there Sept 2. The peace talks will not be cancelled," he told the media when met at Government House in Bangkok, adding that Gen Aksara Kerdphol (Thai army’s advisory board chairperson) would head Bangkok’s team to the talks.
Prawit, who is also defence minister and minister responsible for security affairs, said Malaysia as the facilitator of the peace talks was sincere in assisting Thailand to resolve the southern Thailand conflict.
“Our neighbour (Malaysia) is sincere. I just paid a visit there (Malaysia), they were very nice,” he said.
Prawit also said that Malaysia and Thailand would sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on the dual citizenship issue during Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s visit to the Thai kingdom next week.
Malaysia and Thailand will hold their joint consultation meeting in Bangkok from Sept 8 to 10.
Meanwhile, a source in Mara Patani confirmed to Bernama that Kuala Lumpur would play host to the peace talks tomorrow.
The future of the southern Thailand peace talks hangs in the balance after both sides failed to reach any agreement on the TOR issue during their last meeting in Kuala Lumpur in April.
There has been no meeting between both sides since.
Prawit said the government had told Mara Patani that there would be progress in the peace talks, including agreement on the TOR, if violence on the ground ceased.