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After Coup

Thailand hopes Vietnam will understand need for coup

Thailand expects Vietnam and other members of the Asean group to understand the reason behind the May 22 coup, a senior Foreign Ministry official said yesterday.

Permanent Secretary Sihasak Phuangketkeow, who is on a two-day visit to Vietnam, met Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, who is also Deputy PM, on Wednesday.

He said it was necessary for him to make Vietnam understand the circumstances under which the military had to seize administrative power of the country.

The junta, which has put in place three steps to achieve reconciliation and move toward a general election, hopes the world community will understand Thailand.

Sihasak added that the junta planned to send Foreign Ministry officials to other Asean countries, as well as Japan, China and Australia, to explain the situation.

He said he was also planning to meet foreign journalists based in Thailand so they could cover the situation accurately.

As for the countries that have decided to either suspend cooperation or financial aid in the wake of the coup, Sihasak said it was their prerogative, though it would be advisable for them to look at long-term benefits.

He added that certain individuals had been detained in line with international conventions, human-rights principles and for the sake of peace.

Nobody has been detained for more than the seven days permitted under law, he said, adding that he hoped foreign countries would understand.


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