Bangkok, Feb 27 IANS | 10 months ago

Thailand's anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban Thursday agreed to hold talks with caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on the condition that the talks are one-on-one and broadcast live on TV.

The talks must be broadcast live on all TV channels so that people across the country can hear them, Xinhua cited Suthep as reportedly saying on a rally stage.

Suthep added he and Yingluck should be the only two participants in the negotiation.

Yingluck later responded that she agreed to peaceful talks as long as they were in line with the constitution.

Yingluck said she would like to ask Suthep whether he was ready to terminate the prolonged street protest to facilitate the wrapping-up of the incomplete election process.

After the talks, even if they fail to produce substantive results, the two sides have to work out a framework for subsequent talks so that the negotiation process would continue, Yingluck said.

If the talks went beyond the constitution, other parties, including academics, should be allowed to participate to help solve problems and make sure the negotiations did not stop, she added.

The caretaker government has opened every door to talks, said Yingluck, who is now in the northeastern province of Chiang Mai assessing the province's haze issue.

Yingluck Thursday assigned her legal team to acknowledge the charges the National Anti-Corruption Commission has pressed against her for alleged dereliction of duty pertaining to the rice-pledging scheme. There was legal basis for her not to go in person, she insisted.

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul Wednesday proposed inviting the UN to mediate peace talks between the opposing sides in Thailand to resolve the political conflict.

It would be useful to seek suggestions from the UN, which is experienced in helping solve crises in a number of countries, but in the end, it was still up to the Thai people to seek solutions through talks, Yingluck said.

(Posted on 27-02-2014)

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