In an effort to find peaceful solution to years of armed conflict in southern Thailand, the Thai government offers to talk to any group with different views, said its head of the peace process Gen Udomchai Thammasarorath.

He said achieving peace in the southern provinces of the country “will not be too difficult” following a briefing by Malaysia’s newly-appointed facilitator to the peace process, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor.

“From now on we will talk to every group who have different views to the government. We will give an opportunity for every group, everyone that want to talk to us peacefully,” he told the media after meeting the Malaysian facilitator here.

Abdul Rahim, who is also former Malaysian Inspector-General of Police, was in Bangkok to accompany Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad during the 93 year-old premier’s two-day visit to Thailand, which ended yesterday.

During the bilateral visit, Dr Mahathir and his counterpart Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha also discussed efforts to resolve the conflict which had claimed more than 7,000 lives since 2004.

The Thai government clearly fails to understand radical Islam.