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Interview

Thailand's Malay Muslim rebel brings core issues to peace talks

BRN envoy wants Bangkok to apply 'values of democratization' in Deep South

A soldier talks to children in a southernmost province of Thailand: A meeting in May will indicate how the peace process is going in the kingdom's Deep South, Muslim majority provinces. (Photo by Toyoaki Fujiwara; insignia blurred out)

BANGKOK -- The road to peace in Thailand's restive southern provinces bordering Malaysia takes a crucial turn in May when negotiators from both sides of the ethnic conflict resume discussions, bringing "substantive issues" to the table.

The lead peace negotiator of Barisan Revolusi Nasional, the largest rebel group, aims to air political concerns when he sits with counterparts from the Thai security establishment in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, which has served as the venue for the talks.

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