Military junta briefs foreign military attaches on its reform plans

national June 18, 2014 00:00

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The junta on Wednesday provided foreign military attaches with an update on political developments and its plans to restore confidence following the power seizure in May.

Military attaches from 18 countries – Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States, Vietnam and South Korea – attended the briefing. Representatives from Cambodia, Laos, Spain and Kuwait, informed the junta that they were unable to attend.

The attaches met with the junta’s spokesperson team led by Deputy spokesman Weerachon Sukondhapatipak. He told reporters after the meeting that the discussions aimed to establish an understanding of the junta’s  operations after the military take over.

The junta wished to display its sincerity and its commitment to moving the country forward, he said. 
“We wish to assure the foreign military attaches that Thailand’s relations with foreign partners remains a top priority,” he said.
He is optimistic that they will relay the information to their respective governments and that this will help paint a clear and real picture of the Thai political situation. 
The junta is expected to hold weekly briefings for the military attaches if any misunderstandings arise about the country’s political situation.
The military was forced to seize control in order to end the longstanding problems and to prevent further violence claiming Thai lives. Weerachon said that the Thai public has been closely monitoring the junta’s actions since the coup and has placed their hopes in the military body. All decisions will thus be implemented with due care.
The junta has already eased many of the initial measures including the lifting of the curfew nationwide as the political situation has improved and gradually returns to normal.
“We asked our foreign friends to be patient and give us time to solve the country’s problems,” he said.
During the meeting, Indonesia’s military attache asked about the junta’s plan for the general election while those from European countries continued to expression concern at the situation.
Gen Prayuth had told the team that he did not want to see arguments with countries that have a strong position against the junta. “It would not be normal for them to welcome the power seizure. All we can do is explain to them,” he said.
The representative from Germany asked about last month’s visit to China by acting defence permanent secretary Gen Surasak Kanchanarat, explaining that his country placed importance on the Thai military’s position towards China.
“We informed him that the visit was scheduled in advance and China has not had responded to the situation in Thailand. China informed us that the mutual agreements with the Thai military remain the same,” the spokesman said.
Japan’s representative wanted information about communications and cooperation after the coup.