Thai army, insurgents agree to form ‘safe zone’ hinh anh 1The scene of a bomb attack in Patani province, southern Thailand, on November 3, 2016. (Source: AFP/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Thai army negotiators and Islamic insurgents reached an agreement on establishing a ‘safe zone’ in Thailand’s insecure south.

The agreement, the result of talks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is a small but significant step in negotiations to end the 13-year-long conflict in southern Thailand.

In an annoucement, Mara Patani, a representative of the insurgents, said in a trust-building measure, Thailand’s army and insurgents passed a joint framework on implementing a safe zone in one of five proposed districts, without mentioning which district.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha welcomed the progress but warned the insurgents that carrying out attacks to destroy the safe zone would damage the peace process.

Thailand’s government began negotiating with the insurgents in 2013 under former PM YingluckShinwatra. The negotiationshave been disrupted by frequent attacks in Thailand’s southernmost region and decade-long political unrest in Bangkok.-VNA