Thailand disappointed by Australia's reaction to coup

national June 02, 2014 00:00

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Thailand has expressed disappointment at Australia's decision to downgrade mutual relations, issue travel bans for highranking officers and cut defence cooperation in the wake of the military's power seizure.

The Foreign Ministry’s permanent secretary Sihasak Puangketkaew conveyed the disappointment during the annual ShangriLa security dialogue in Singapore in which Australia attended during the weekend, said Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Sek Wannamethee on Monday.

The Australian government said in a joint statement on Saturday that it had postponed three activities with the Thai military and would prevent the leaders of the coup from travelling to Australia as it continues to have “grave concerns” about the military’s coup in Thailand.

“In line with our concerns, Australia is reducing our engagement with the Thai military and will lower the level of our interaction with the Thai military leadership,” Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Minister David Johnston said in a joint statement.

“The Australian government continues to call on the military to set a pathway for a return to democracy and the rule of law as soon as possible, to refrain from arbitrary detentions, to release those detained for political reasons and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.”

The Australian government said it looked forward to “normalising our relationship as soon as possible,” but added that it would continue to “review defence and other bilateral activities”.


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