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Thai gov't, separatists agree to new peace plan - mediator

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 (KUNA) -- The Thai government and separatists in south Thailand have agreed in Kuala Lumpur on a new peace roadmap, as stated by the Malaysian facilitator of peace talks.
During a press conference in Kuala Lumpur late Wednesday, Malaysian facilitator Zulkifli Zainal Abidin said that the two sides had agreed "in principle" to a joint comprehensive peace plan.
He added that both sides had shown during the talks firm commitment to putting the agreed peace plan in place, leading up to a permanent peace agreement to serve the population of Muslim-dominated southern provinces in the country.
Zainal Abidin underlined that if the two sides' negotiating teams agreed, the plan would be signed as soon as possible.
The announcement came after two days of meetings in Kuala Lumpur, which are expected to be followed by further meetings in the coming weeks in order to finalize the details of the peace blueprint.
In 2013, the Malaysian government began serving as a facilitator in the peace talks between Bangkok and separatist groups, but the negotiations have not made much progress. (end) aab.mt