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PM optimistic on talks with PAD

Newly-elected Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat is optimistic on Friday on reaching a negotiated settlement with the People's Alliance for Democracy following his telephone conversation with PAD leader Sondhi Limthongkul.



"We are fellow Thai citizens and I am willing to talk to everyone without bias against differing opinions," he said.

Somchai refused to disclose what he had discussed with Sondhi on grounds that he did not want to hamper work in progress.

He said, however, "talks were good", alluding to his stand to commence negotiations with the PAD in order to resolve the political rifts between the government and the opposition movement.

Privy councillor Surayud Chulanont said the opposing camps ought to mend the rifts through negotiations in order to pave way for the country to advance forward.

Surayud said when he was interim prime minister following the September 19, 2006 coup, he tried to close the gap of political divide but his efforts remained incomplete.

He urged the government and the opposition movement to start the reconciliation process by start talking to one another.

Democrat Party secretary general Suthep Thuagsuban called on the prime minister to concentrate on bringing about the national reconciliation.

Although the government is facing with several urgent problems, it is imperative that the political turmoil must first be overcomed so as to create a stable environment to deal with other challenges, he said.


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