ANI Photo | Thailand Foreign Minister visits Myanmar border town amid escalating clashes between Junta, armed groups

Thailand’s Foreign Minister Parnpree Bahiddha-Nukara visited Mae Sot, a border town near Myanmar, on Friday amid escalating clashes that have resulted in troops of the ruling military Junta into retreat by ethnic minority armed groups, while hundreds of residents have been forced to flee, Al Jazeera reported.
Mae Sot, which lies across Myanmar’s Myawaddy, has been wrested out of the military’s control.
“Thailand wants to see peace and dialogue,” Parnpree told reporters, adding that it was considering alternative trade routes in case of road closures caused by the fighting.
Thailand’s Foreign Ministry has announced plans to assess preparations for a potential surge in refugees from Myanmar, according to Al Jazeera.
Earlier this week, Thailand said it was prepared to accept 100,000 people fleeing the ongoing clashes and violence in Myanmar. However, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin warned on Thursday that the fighting should not spill into his country’s airspace.
According to Al Jazeera, recent fighting between Myanmar’s military and ethnic minority armed groups in Myawaddy prompted a wave of refugees seeking safety across the border into Thailand.
The ongoing turmoil in Myanmar, sparked by the military coup in 2021, continues to drive a steady stream of people seeking refuge along the 2,400km border shared by the two nations.
The complete capture of Myawaddy would be seen as a humiliating defeat for the military, which has suffered a string of battlefield losses in recent months that prompted rare criticism of its top brass by its supporters, according to Al Jazeera.
Myanmar military spokesman Zaw Min Tun confirmed to reporters late on Thursday that soldiers ‘had to withdraw’ from their base in Myawaddy, saying it was for their families’ safety.
He said Myanmar and Thai authorities were in talks about the soldiers but did not give any details about how many were involved.
Thailand, which says it is keeping a neutral stance amid the ongoing conflict, has pursued engagement, including aid deliveries, with its neighbour since Srettha came to power last August.

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