Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva is willing to hold dialogue with "red shirt" protesters but only if demonstrators agree not to escalate tensions, a government spokesman said on Wednesday.
"The prime minister is willing to sit down and talk about this, the conditions for holding an election and amending the constitution," spokesman Panitan Wattanayagorn said. "Our position is the same. We are open to negotiations and talks providing that they act in a way that does not create tension."
Panitan gave no comment on insistence by protest leaders that they would talk only through a third party and not directly with the government.
Thousands of demonstrators are occupying a luxury shopping district spanning 2.3 km (1.4 miles) in Bangkok and adjacent to a business district guarded by hundreds of armed troops.