Thai authorities and Muslim rebels leaders have agreed to meet again next month after a meeting in Malaysia aimed at ending nearly one decade of violence that has killed thousands of people in southern Thailand.

Peace negotiators for the Thai government and Barisan Revolusi Nasional (BRN) said in a joint statement on Friday that they had agreed on the terms of reference for the negotiations.

The statement said that the two sides will resume discussion on April 29.

Thursday's discussions focused on "approaches towards solving the issues of violence and stability in South Thailand," the negotiators said.

"Both sides also exchanged views and information pertaining to the issue of violence in an open and sincere manner."

More than 5,300 people have been killed in the conflict in the majority-Muslim provinces in Thailand, which are under emergency law.

Rebels have carried out shootings and bombings on monks, teachers and village officials as symbols of the majority-Buddhist state.