CHINA, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam have expressed their "understanding" of the political situation in Thailand following last month's coup, junta spokesman Yongyuth Mayalarp said yesterday.
The Chinese and Vietnamese ambassadors to Thailand yesterday met with Supreme Commander General Thanasak Patimaprakorn, who is also the deputy chairman of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), to assure him that bilateral relations would continue as usual, Yongyuth said. “The ambassadors hope that the situation in Thailand will return to normal quickly,” he told reporters. The junta badly needs international understanding, as many countries around the world have expressed their disapproval over the action taken by Army chief Prayuth Chan-ocha in staging the military coup against an elected caretaker government. Western countries have expressed their disagreement with the coup and demanded a quick restoration of democracy. The United States has frozen military assistance to Thailand and scrapped joint military programmes, while the European Union has urged the military to free political detainees and end censorship. Australia announced on Saturday that it was downgrading military ties, as well as imposing a travel ban on junta leaders and cutting defence cooperation. An anti-group yesterday gathered in front of the Australian Embassy in Bangkok to thank Canberra for its stance against military intervention. Yongyuth said Foreign Ministry permanent secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow had met with Myanmar Foreign Minister Wunna Maung Lwin on Monday to inform him of Thailand’s political situation and the NCPO’s goals of bringing the country back to normal soon. Wunna Maung Lwin responded that Myanmar was following the situation closely because Thailand is its close neighbour. Myanmar also understands the situation faced by Thailand and will not interfere in its internal affairs, he said. Myanmar is willing to support Thailand within the Asean community framework, Yongyuth said. Malaysian Supreme Commander General Tansri Dato’ Sei Zulkifeli Bin Mohd Zin paid an official visit to NCPO chief Prayuth over the past two days, during which he affirmed his country’s stance of supporting and strengthening bilateral relations between the countries, he added. The Malaysian supreme commander was invited to inspect the Guard of Honour at the Royal Thai Armed Forces headquarters. Foreign Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee said that to create better understanding and project a positive image of the country, permanent secretary Sihasak planned to visit to Asean countries, starting with Vietnam today, to explain political developments in the country and plead for Asean member states’ understanding. Sihasak will also brief the Vietnamese foreign minister on the junta’s three-stage road map in order to build confidence among the country’s rulers about what the military here is trying to achieve, said Sek. Yongyuth also said Moody’s Investors Service was maintaining Thailand’s long-term issuer rating, with the rating agency saying |the Kingdom’s credit strength remained |largely intact due to its strong economic |foundation that enables the country to |weather an economic downturn and political instability.