UN confirms Ban spoke with Surapong

NEW YORK - United Nations (UN) secretary-general Ban Ki-moon did have a telephone conversation with caretaker Foreign Affairs Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul to discuss Thailand's political situation, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said at a daily press briefing on Thursday.

"Well, I think the Thai [media] have reported a telephone conversation with the foreign minister, and I confirm that there was such a telephone conversation," Mr Nesirky said.

He said the secretary-general was closely monitoring the situation in Thailand and was concerned about the recent violence.

Mr Surapong, an adviser to the Centre for Maintaining Peace and Order (CMPO), told reporters on Wednesday that he spoke to Mr Ban and was considering inviting him to give advice on conflict resolution to prevent other countries losing confidence in Thailand.

"If we could bring the UN in to initiate talks, a solution to the conflict might be reached. I talked on the phone to Ban Ki-moon to discuss this matter.

"I will discuss the idea of bringing in the UN as mediator with the CMPO," Mr Surapong said.

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