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April 17, 2014

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Thai protest leader places conditions on talks

Updated Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014 | 1:07 a.m.

BANGKOK (AP) — The leader of Thailand's anti-government protest movement says he is willing to negotiate with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra to end the country's political crisis, if she is willing to talk with him live on television.

The offer by Suthep Thaugsuban came Thursday as increasing violence associated with his group's months-long protest has prompted fresh calls for negotiations. The protesters say they want Yingluck to resign to make way for an unelected interim government to institute anti-corruption reforms.

Suthep's offer, which included several other conditions, was an evident ploy to offset criticism of his longstanding position that his movement would refuse negotiations, even as the government said it was open to them.

Yingluck responded that her government wants negotiations, but that the protesters must stop blocking elections and other constitutional processes.