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Myanmar Crisis Breakthrough: Top Secret International Talks in Thailand Deemed a Success – More Discussions to Follow?

Informal international talks on Myanmar, held in Pattaya on Monday, have been deemed successful, with participants expressing a desire for more such discussions, according to caretaker Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai. During a recent visit to Government House, Mr. Don remarked that the atmosphere at the meeting was favorable and that attendees want Thailand to organize similar events in the future.

“Informal discussions are a way to solve problems. Thailand has held them twice before. They were beneficial, or previous participants would not have attended again,” he said. The recent discussion saw the introduction of issues that had not been addressed at earlier meetings, and there were more participants than in previous sessions.

The Monday meeting saw representatives from seven countries in attendance, including China and India, both of which share borders with Myanmar. When asked why the caretaker government would not let the incoming new government and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) handle Myanmar-related issues, Mr. Don highlighted Thailand’s 2,000-kilometer-long border with Myanmar and said that efforts to resolve problems in Myanmar should not be delayed.

“Other ASEAN countries do not share such a long border with Myanmar, so they are neither worried nor feel it is necessary to quickly find a way out of the prolonged problems in Myanmar,” Mr. Don said. “The discussion was organized in the best interests of Thailand, but everyone overlooks this and takes the view that only ASEAN should take the lead on this matter,” he added.

The issues in Myanmar impact Thailand, particularly in relation to border trade and business. Scammers in Myanmar defraud people in various countries, and Thai citizens cross the border for illegal work, while problems with narcotics and other illicit products persist. In 2022, ASEAN, under the chairmanship of Cambodia, issued a statement saying that all parties should work together to find successful solutions to Myanmar’s problems through various occasions and forms.

Mr. Don emphasized that the general public should be aware of how Myanmar’s problems affect Thailand and should not be influenced by biased information. Participants in Monday’s meeting agreed that its outcome should not be made public and that they did not reach any conclusions or agreements; however, those present expressed that the meeting was beneficial and that more such sessions should be held. “Myanmar is trying to improve its [proposed] solutions,” Mr. Don added.

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