Thailand and Malaysia will convene the Second Working Group on Dual Citizenship at a mutually convenient time with a view to finding an acceptable solution on the issue that will contribute to the resolving of the situation in the southern border provinces.
Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul and his Malaysian counterpart Dato’ Sri Anifah bin Haji Aman on 10 July 2012 discussed the issue of dual citizenship and reviewed the state of Thai-Malaysian relations.
Both sides also agreed to expedite the conclusion of pending agreements such as the Agreement on Border Crossing and the Memorandum of Understanding on Combating Human Trafficking.
Foreign Minister Surapong sought Malaysia’s cooperation in implementing various infrastructure projects, particularly the integration of the plan under the Joint Development Strategy and special economic zones of customs, immigration, and quarantine, and the proposed construction of two bridges crossing the Golok River.
These projects would help increase trade, investment, and tourism and promote the well-being of people living in the border areas, as well as boosting connectivity in ASEAN.
In response to the Amnesty International Report 2012 concerning the southern situation in Thailand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the situation does not meet the criteria for it to be regarded as an internal armed conflict as defined by international humanitarian law.
It said that violence in the southern border provinces had been perpetrated by local extremists for the purpose of creating social divisions.
Nevertheless, the Amnesty International Report undeniably points out that indiscriminate attacks against civilians is a serious concern in the deep South.
Therefore, the Thai government has placed the utmost importance on the safety of civilians. In addition to implementing security measures, the Government attaches importance to the promotion of human rights, respect for local culture and identity, development, and local participation to address the root causes of violence.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that the Thai government believes that its unwavering adherence to a peaceful approach, including human rights awareness, will lead to the betterment of the southern situation in the long run.