BANGKOK (DPA) — The US military announced the cancellation of joint exercises with Thailand in the wake of last week's coup.
Army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha seized power with a coup d'etat on Thursday and has placed the country under martial law, detaining at least 150 politicians, activists and scholars over the past thee days.
On Saturday, the junta dissolved the Senate, strengthening Prayuth's legislative powers as sole ruler of the nation.
"It is important that the Royal Thai Armed Forces end this coup and restore to the people of Thailand both the principles and the process of democratic rule, including a clear path forward to elections," Pentagon press secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in Washington.
Thailand and the US have enjoyed close military ties since the Vietnam War, when the Asian kingdom was allied with US forces and hosted their military bases on its soil.
"While we have enjoyed a long and productive military-to-military relationship with Thailand, our own democratic principles and US law require us to reconsider US military assistance and engagements," Kirby said.
The Pentagon cancelled this year's exercises as well as planned visits in June by US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Harry Harris to Thailand and Thai Armed Forces Commander General Tanasak Patimapragorn to the US Pacific Command.
The cancellations followed the US State Department's decision on Friday to suspend 3.5 million dollars in aid to Thailand.
"We are reviewing all programmes to determine other assistance which we may suspend," State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.
"As we have made clear, it is important that the Royal Thai Armed Forces end this coup and restore to the people of Thailand both the principles and the process of democratic rule, including a clear path forward to elections."