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EU spat just a tempest in a teacup

EU foreign ministers' decision to break off ties with Thailand reminds me of the gunboat diplomacy practised by the Europeans in the 19th century.

The declaration after their June 23 meeting reads like the draft thesis of a doctoral candidate and was only initiated by a branch of commissioners, not the EU heads themselves. It also reflects the ineffectiveness of our Foreign Ministry in failing to head off the rather insulting declaration from its EU counterparts. The coup was justified and the "undemocratic" situation will be short-lived - a necessary evil in salvaging our democratic rules.

The present hue and cry could have been avoided if the Foreign Ministry had not acted so "upset", thereby lending the declaration a high profile.

Instead, it could have lessened the blow by stating that the junta government is a temporary state of affairs that will lead to stronger democratic rules set within a definite timeframe.

The EU is less of a cohesive force than the United States, and EU ministers' proposals are often overturned. Given we are heading in the right direction with a clear timeframe, I view the EU declaration as a storm in a teacup.

Songdej Praditsmanont

Bangkok


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