Simon Tay, chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, said that while the talks were a 'new development', differences are entrenched and any agreed compromise would be difficult.
'There is speculation that elements in the military have pushed (Mr Abhisit) to offer this. There have also been rumours of a coup if the government cannot be effective and Red Shirts keep pushing,' said Professor Tay. 'The negotiations can also be seen as an effort by Mr Abhisit to show he is being reasonable and making efforts for the sake of the nation as a whole. Appearing reasonable is important for support among those in Bangkok who are simply fed up with the instability and protests.'