Peace talks only possible after rally ends: Thai gov't

18:21, May 18, 2010      

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A group of Thai soldiers walk across a street in Bangkok, capital of Thailand, on May 17, 2010. According to local aid agencies, the clashes between the troops and protesters which has lasted for 4 days have claimed at least 35 lives. (Xinhua/Thana Nuntavoranut)

Thailand's prime minister called the senate speaker Tuesday afternoon and explained that peace talks with the red-shirted protesters will only happen after the rally in downtown Bangkok ends, said the Minister Attached to the PM's Office Satit Wongnongtaey on televised address.

Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva made the phone call after Nattawut Saikua, the co-leader of red-shirted protesters, said earlier the day at the Ratchaprasong rally site that the red- shirts leaders agreed to engage in peace talks, as proposed by the senate, in order to avoid more loss of lives.

Senate Speaker Prasobsuk Boondej Monday offered to mediate a new round of peace talks to end the on-going clashes between troops and the red-shirts, which has claimed at least 37 lives since May 14, most of them civilians.

Satit said that in his phone call Abhisit agreed that the government shared the same concern with the senate speaker and would like to end the riots as soon as possible.

The precondition for peace talks to resume, however, is the red- shirts withdrawal from the occupied Ratchaprasong area and end their rally, Satit quoted Abhisit as saying.

The Prime Minister also asked Prasobsuk to approach the red shirts Tuesday evening to figure out solutions to end the rally.

Source: Xinhua


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