Thailand eyes peace talks with insurgents 'soon'
BANGKOK (AFP) - Thailand wants to hold peace talks with militant groups behind a festering insurgency in the south "soon", the head of the kingdom's highest security body said on Wednesday.
The comments come amid a recent spike in attacks in the Muslim-majority south bordering Malaysia and ahead of a meeting between Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and her Malaysian counterpart Najib Razak on Thursday.
The pair will discuss the nine-year insurgency, which has claimed more than 5,500 lives, and the possibility of Malaysia hosting talks with the militants.
"I hope that talks will happen soon," said Lieutenant-General Paradorn Pattanathabutr, secretary-general of Thailand's National Security Council (NSC), who will join Ms Yingluck in this week's talks in Kuala Lumpur.