Surapong: US Will Not Be Happy If Coup Happens

PM Yingluck Shinawatra arrives at the Cabinet meeting in Nakhon Pathom province, 8 April 2014

(8 April) The US government has expressed concern to the Thai authorities over the deteriorating state of political crisis in Thailand, said the Minister of Foreign Affairs Surapong Tovichakchaikul.

Mr. Surapong made the comment after meeting with a group of high profile American diplomats today, including US Ambassador to Thailand, Ms. Kristie Kenny, and Assistant Secretary for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Mr. Daniel Russel.

According to Mr. Surapong, the entourage presented him with a letter signed by the US Secretary of State John Kerry which expressed his concern over the latest round of political crisis in Thailand, which erupted in November last year.

He added that the US does not wish to see a military takeover or any other type of coup in Thailand. "It is an issue that the US has grave concerns about," Mr. Surapong told reporters, "If it really happens, they won't be happy".

Mr. Surapong continued, "Simultaneously, the US wants to support Thailand to walk along the democratic path, to solve problems by engaging in dialogues, and to refrain from violence and chaos". 

The Foreign Affairs Minister also lamented missed opportunities for Thailand to strive for greater diplomatic relationship with the US and other countries in Southeast Asia, as Thailand lacks a functioning government to engage in international actions, such as signing treaties and attending international forums. 

"We cannot do any of these things. We have to wait for the new government. It's a great loss to Thailand," Mr. Surapong complained.

Asked to comment on the speech by anti-government protest leader Suthep Thaugsuban, who threatened to install himself as a "Sovereign Body" and replace Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra with his own choice of PM and Cabinet members, Mr. Surapong said such remark amounts to "insurrection". 

"It is clear that Suthep wants to seize power into his own hands," Mr. Surapong charged, "He has never listened to anyone in the past … It's the way of dictators".

He added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already translated Mr. Suthep' speech "word-to-word". Mr. Surapong said the text of the translation will be sent to foreign embassies in Thailand to inform them of Mr. Suthep's agenda.  

 

 

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