Prayut discussed the crisis in a meeting with the UN secretary-general's special envoy on Myanmar, Noeleen Heyzer, at Government House on Monday.
The UN envoy called on the PM to support international efforts to help displaced people and to press Myanmar's junta to commit to a five-point peace plan it agreed with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
The PM pledged Thailand’s support for the efforts but added that Myanmar’s problems are complicated and must be addressed step by step. said a government spokesman.
“The first step is to win trust from Myanmar’s leader,” Prayut said, adding that Thailand is closely monitoring the situation in the neighbouring country.
Prayut said efforts to solve the crisis must begin by getting all sides to halt violence and join peace talks while providing humanitarian aid to Myanmar’s people.
“Thailand is ready to provide help without discriminating against any group,” said the PM, adding that Thailand has a long record of providing humanitarian aid to the country.
He said the Thai government has prepared a humanitarian zone along the border, with measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
He added that fleeing Myanmar residents would only be sent back when they are ready and willing to return home. Reuters reported last month that Thai authorities sent back over 600 Myanmar refugees who had fled fighting in Karen state, though it was unclear how many returned voluntarily.
An estimated 284,000 Myanmar people have been displaced in fighting since the February 1 coup last year with around 22,000 refugees fleeing to India and Thailand.
Hezer voiced concern about violence in Myanmar, adding that it was in Thailand’s interest to push for peace in the country.
"The prime minister has an important role in preventing further deterioration of the crisis in Myanmar, where an implosion would bring further instability to an already volatile border area," she said in a statement.
Published : January 18, 2022
By : THE NATION