Ban Ki-moon asked for Thai crisis help

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said that he had spoken with United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon this morning to discuss ways out of the current political crisis.

Mr Surapong said the ongoing state of chaos and violence, particularly the deaths of four innocent children, had guided his decision.

He had thought about inviting Ban Ki-moon to give advice, since the UN is highly experienced in dealing with conflicts, to prevent other countries losing confidence in Thailand, he added.

Mr Surapong said that in countries such as Syria, Ukraine, Egypt and Rwanda, the UN stepped in to intervene during the later stage of internal conflicts, so the intervention was of little use.

"If we could bring the UN in to initiate talks, a solution to the conflict in Thailand might be reached. At 9am today I talked on the telephone with Ban Ki-moon to directly discuss this matter with him.

"I will propose this idea to a meeting of the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order," said Mr Surapong, an adviser to the CMPO.

People's Democratic Reform Committee (PDRC) leader Suthep Thaugsuban has said he does not know of anyone who could be a trusted middleman to mediate peace talks, Mr Surapong said, so the UN might be most suitable to take up this role.

If the Democrat Party is afraid an upcoming election could be unfair, the UN has an organisation dedicated to ensuring election fairness, he added.

"Today, the Thai people must be open-minded. Do not think that this would be an intervention. If a civil war breaks out in Thailand, the UN would have to step in anyway to solve problems and build reconciliation," Mr Surapong said.

On the talks between former prime minister Somchai Wongsawat and PDRC core member Luang Pu Buddha Issara, Mr Surapong said the CMPO had nothing to do with the move but viewed it as an attempt to find a way out of the conflict.

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