Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim reiterated today (Thursday) that Malaysia is against the use of violence to resolve the conflicts in southern Thailand and pledged his government’s readiness to help in the peace process.
“I came here with a clear message, that the government of Malaysia will not condone the use of violence to resolve any conflicts,” Anwar said during a joint press conference with Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha, after their meeting at the Government House.
While recognising that the problems in the south are Thailand’s internal affair, he said Malaysia “as a good neighbour and friend will do whatever is necessary” to help with the peace process.
Anwar said the conflicts in southern Thailand were discussed during his meeting with Prayut, which he described as being “not just an ordinary diplomatic session.”
“It was a session for a most serious and frank exchange,” he said.
Malaysia has been facilitating a peace dialogue between representatives of the Thai government and the separatist groups in the south. Anwar recently appointed former military chief Zulkifli Zainal Abidin to serve as the new facilitator.
While declaring that peace “is of paramount importance” in resolving the violence in southern Thailand, the Malaysian prime minister also stressed the need for economic development in the border areas.
Prime Minister Prayut also told the press conference that Thailand and Malaysia are committed to strengthening their multi-faceted cooperation, at both bilateral and regional levels.
Prayut and Anwar witnessed the signing of memoranda of understanding for cooperation in the fields of energy, science, digital and green economy.
Anwar, who is making his first visit to Bangkok since becoming prime minister in November, also discussed with Prayut the ongoing crisis in Myanmar. Anwar said he wants to see ASEAN take more coherent and concerted action to help reduce the level of violence in Myanmar.
Anwar, who is accompanied by his wife Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, will perform Friday prayers at the Islamic Center of Thailand tomorrow evening.