Mahathir pledges to help end violence in deep South in talks with Gen Prayut
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad promised on Wednesday to help bring peace to the trouble-plagued southern border region and said he believes that Malaysia and Thailand are making a sincere bid at peace and not just a case of drawing up treaties.
Prime Minister Mahathir, who is making his first visit to Thailand after taking office in May, underscored the strong bond between the two countries by recalling that Malaysia had received help from Thailand in dealing with problems related to terrorism in the past.
“We have a shared history of strong cooperation. Thailand has helped us in many ways before,” he said at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha after their meeting at the Government House.
“We see this as an important display of cooperation. This (the peace talk process) is not just a case of talking or drawing up treaties. It is a genuine effort between both countries,” he said.
Prime Minister Prayut said he discussed with Mahathir problems facing Thailand’s southern border provinces and agreed on greater cooperation.
“We understand each other better on our concerns and limitations,” Gen Prayut said. “I assured him that the dialogue will continue, with Malaysia as the facilitator.”
He said Thailand and Malaysia will also expand the scope of their cooperation in other areas, including economics, trade, and transnational crime.
“We pledge to help in whatever way possible to end this violence in the South,” Mahathir said.
Mahathir will tomorrow morning meet with Gen Prem Tinsulanonda, the Privy Council president and former prime minister between 1980-1988 before giving a lecture at Chulalongkorn University.