US cancels military exercise, visits after Thai coup
May 25, 2014 00:00
WASHINGTON - The United States has canceled an ongoing military exercise with Thailand and planned visits by officials after the Thai army seized power in a widely condemned coup.
"While we have enjoyed a long and productive military-to-military relationship with Thailand, our own democratic principles and US law require us to reconsider US military assistance and engagements," Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement Saturday.
The Cooperation of Afloat Readiness and Training exercise (CARAT), which involves several hundred US Marines and sailors, began Monday and was supposed to run for a week.
The scrapped visits had been planned for June -- one to Thailand by US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Harry Harris and another to the US Pacific Command in Hawaii by a high-ranking Thai military official.
"It is important that the Royal Thai Armed Forces end this coup and restore to the people of Thailand both the principles and the process of democratic rule, including a clear path forward to elections," Kirby said.