The Nation



I'm not empowered to decide on meeting with PDRC : Army chief

Army Commander in Chief Prayuth Chan-ocha said Thursday the military have yet to respond to anti-government protesters' call for a talk, stressing their political neutrality.

He was referring to the request by protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban to hold talks with top military and police chiefs to elaborate the protesters' principles on political reform and seek their recommendations.

Suthep, secretary general of the People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC), had sought 8pm today as the deadline for the response.

Gen Prayuth said he has yet to discuss with leaders of the armed forces and report to Caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra in her capacity as caretaker defence minister.

He said he was not empowered to make the decision and protesters should avoid pushing the armed forces into the middle of the current conflicts.

"Justice is the most significant factor in solving the problems," he said. He admitted that the current conflict is the biggest in Thailand's history and it will not end if different factions continue retaliating to each other.

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