BANGKOK, Feb 26 — Thailand agrees that Malaysia continues its role as the facilitator in the peace dialogue on southern Thailand apart from expressing its appreciation of the continuous cooperation in strengthening security along the borders of the two countries.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the matter was conveyed to him by Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan o-cha in a meeting in conjunction with his official visit to the country.
“I gave my commitment to resume the dialogue which was halted due to Covid-19 earlier,” he said in a media conference with Malaysian journalists here today.
The negotiation is described as a new hope to end violence in Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and Songkhla in which the majority of the residents are Muslims even though face-to-face negotiations was disrupted when the Malaysia-Thailand border was closed due to Covid-19 pandemic.
Nonetheless, both parties held virtual meetings three times during the period.
Peace negotiations on southern Thailand via physical meeting was held for the first again in Kuala Lumpur last month.
Former Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Mohd Noor who represented the Malaysian government continue the role as facilitator in the peace negotiation.
Insurgency in southern Thailand which began in 2004 had taken more than 7,000 lives.
Chief negotiator, Wanlop Rugsanaoh and the most influential armed group in southern Thailand, the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) headed by Anas Abdulrahman had held a meeting
On border security, Ismail Sabri said Malaysia is committed to cooperate with Thailand to ensure the borders of the two countries remain secure and protected, by strengthening defence cooperation including eradicating cross-border smuggling and criminal activities. — Bernama