Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has pledged to support Thailand in finding a peaceful solution to the long-standing insurgency in the southern region.
During this official visit to Bangkok, Anwar emphasized that the insurgency is an internal issue for Thailand, but Malaysia will do its best to help resolve the conflict peacefully.
Prime Minister Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha expressed appreciation for Malaysia’s cooperation and acknowledged that any assistance the Malaysian government provides will help address the problems in the restive provinces. He pointed out that successful negotiations will result in an increase in economic growth and improved connections between the two nations.
The conflict, which has claimed over 7,300 lives since 2004, involves fighting between Thai security forces and separatist groups seeking independence for the predominantly Muslim and ethnically Malay provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani, and parts of Songkhla, bordering Malaysia.
Officials said an attempt to contact the Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN), the main insurgent group involved in talks with the Thai government, has yet to yield any response.
Since 2013, Malaysia has been facilitating peace talks between the separatist groups and the Thai government. The latest round of talks resumed in 2022 after a two-year suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (NNT)