Prayuth Assures Obama & Putin All's Well In Thailand

Gen. Prayuth (L) planting trees with other world leaders in Beijing during the APEC summit, Nov 2014.

BANGKOK – Thailand’s military leader says he has assured US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin that "everything is fine" in junta-ruled Thailand, where he is "doing his best."

Prime Minister and junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha reportedly had a brief chat with the Russian leader and US President during a dinner at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing, China, last night. 

"I have met President Putin. He asked me how Thailand is doing," state media quoted Gen. Prayuth as saying. "I told him, everything is fine. Please give us more time for the reform of the country."

He also recounted a conversation with Obama: "I have talked to President Obama. He expressed his concern [about Thailand], so I thanked him for having concern. I insisted to him that I will do my best."

The APEC summit was the most prominent international forum Gen. Prayuth has attended since he was chosen Prime Minister by a rubber-stamp parliament he appointed in August.

Gen. Prayuth, who led the 22 May coup and is still chairman of the junta's National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), is set to attend another international summit in Naypidaw, Myanmar, today.

According to state media, Gen. Prayuth secured promises of cooperation with a number of Asia-Pacific countries and private companies during his trip to Beijing.

Gen. Prayuth also said he was not criticised by any world leaders at the summit for toppling Thailand’s elected government in May.

"They did not talk about the conflict at all. I told every world leader that Thailand is now peaceful to an extent. Tourism is improving. I invited all of them to visit Thailand, too," Gen. Prayuth told state media. "Every leader had only praise and positive remarks for Thailand."

 

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