The Thai government and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) have denounced the indiscriminate acts of violence against innocent civilians in the southern border provinces of Thailand.

The acts were described as something against the teaching of Islam, according to a joint press release, issued on the official visit of a high-le vel OIC delegation to Thailand from 7-13 May 2012.

The delegation, led by Ambassador Sayed Kassem El-Masry, Adviser and Special Envoy of the OIC Secretary General, visited the southern border provinces and had meetings with key stakeholders and local communities.

On this occasion, the Thai government reiterated that the issue of the South is a top national priority and that the Government is making efforts to resolve the problem through a comprehensive approach to address the root causes in accordance with the royal advice of His Majesty the King to “understand, reach out, and develop.”

The joint press release stated that the OIC delegation welcomed the positive developments since the visit of the IOC Secretary General in 2007. It believed that the policy of the Thai government is moving in the right direction. In this regard, OIC welcomed the efforts being undertaken by the Government and urged the Thai side to intensify these efforts.

Concerning the Emergency Decree, the OIC delegation noted the lifting of the decree in certain areas in the deep South and urged the Thai side to consider lifting this special law in other areas of the deep South, as well. It also called for the acceleration of efforts to implement educational plans as adopted by the Thai government which attends to aspects of culture and identity.

According to the joint press release, the Thai side assured that the Emergency Decree would be lifted whenever and wherever the situation on the ground permits.

It further emphasized that the perpetuation of violence continued to pose an obstacle to efforts to promote peace, security, and development as desired by local people in the southern border provinces.

Thailand also stressed the need to bring an end to a cycle of violence in order to create a condition for peace, development, harmony, and peaceful co-existence of all local residents.

Both sides agreed that the visit by the OIC delegation underlined the commitment of the Thai government, as an observer of OIC, to strengthening relations with the organization

via Inside Thailand — Thailand and OIC Denounce Violence against Innocent Civilians in the South.

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