Thai PM and Myanmar junta chief stay engaged via back channels
Talks between Prayuth and Min Aung Hlaing illustrate bonds between militaries
Thailand's Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha, left, and Myanmar Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing: Min Aung Hlaing was the first Southeast Asian military leader who reached out to Prayuth after he overthrew an elected Thai government in 2014 as army chief. (Source photos by Reuters)
MARWAAN MACAN-MARKAR, Asia regional correspondent | Thailand
BANGKOK -- Thailand's pro-military government has tapped its back-channel contacts with Myanmar's armed forces to shape Bangkok's diplomatic options following the turmoil and bloodshed in its neighbor since the February coup in Naypyitaw.
Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha tipped this element of Bangkok's approach by skipping the recent summit of Association of Southeast Asian Nations leaders in Jakarta. He sent Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai instead for the ASEAN gathering convened to chart a regional response to Myanmar.