Newscast Media WASHINGTON—The US and Australia have suspended military
cooperation with Thailand, urging leaders of the country’s military coup to swiftly
restore democracy. The Thai military leadership has called for greater patience.
Speaking at an Asian security conference in Singapore on Saturday, Secretary of
Defense Chuck Hagel said the US had suspended military ties with Thailand, and was
reassessing its future assistance to the country’s armed forces.
Hagel condemned Thailand’s “retreat from democracy,” calling for the coup leaders to
“move immediately to restore power to the people of Thailand, through free and fair
“Democracies are our closest friends,” he said, urging the Royal Thai Armed Forces to
end curbs on free speech and civil liberties – which include a ban on gatherings of
five or more people – and to free scores of detainees.
Regional power Australia also suspended military cooperation with Thailand on
Saturday, with three training exercises for Thai soldiers in coming weeks being
“The Australian government continues to have grave concerns about the actions of
the military in Thailand,” said Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. “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,” she said.
Source: Deutsche Welle