BANGKOK (AP) — The Thai military’s takeover of the government Thursday drew criticism from many world leaders, with the U.S. saying there was “no justification” for the coup and France also condemning it. Here is a summary of reactions from several countries:
Washington, which froze U.S. military assistance after Thailand’s last coup in 2006 for 1 1/2 years until democracy was restored, said it was reviewing military ties and preparing to suspend up to $10 million in aid to Thailand. It also called for the release of any detained political leaders and voiced concern about media restrictions under the coup.
“There is no justification for this military coup,” U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said. “I urge the restoration of civilian government immediately, a return to democracy, and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, such as press freedoms.”
Australia expressed grave concerns that Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha seized power despite his insistence two days earlier that he was not launching a coup. Canberra said the government was reviewing its relationship with Thailand, a key destination for Australian tourists.
“We need to know the reasons for announcing the coup just days after imposing martial law on the basis that it was not a coup,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa said his country was watching the situation with “profound concern,” and that it was a setback to the democracy that the Association of Southeast Asian Nations has tried to engender. Thailand is one of the founders of the 10-nation regional security and political bloc.
“Having this situation certainly would be inconsistent with ASEAN’s collective support for democratic principles and constitutional government,” Natalegawa told The Associated Press on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum on East Asia in Manila.
In a statement issued by the foreign ministry, Natalegawa called on the military and other parties to “to work together in a reconciliatory atmosphere to quickly restore the political situation.”
British Foreign Secretary William Hague said he was “extremely concerned” by the coup.
“The U.K. urges the restoration of a civilian government that has been democratically elected, serves the interests of its people and fulfills its human rights obligations,” he said in a statement, adding that “only by openly discussing the full range of issues can Thailand move forward and reach a more stable position.”
French President Francois Hollande condemned the coup. In a statement issued by his office, he called for an immediate return to constitutional order and electoral process. He also called for the respect of the Thai people’s fundamental rights and freedoms.
New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully expressed concern over the coup and the suspension of the constitution. “It is difficult to see how military rule will ease Thailand’s current political crisis. The detention of political leaders is unacceptable,” he said in a statement issued by his office.
Tokyo said the coup was “deeply regrettable.”
“Japan strongly urges those concerned that democracy in Thailand be quickly restored,” Foreign Affairs Minister Fumio Kishida said.
Neighbor Malaysia urged its people to postpone travel to the country for security reasons. The foreign ministry issued a statement expressing hope that all parties will work toward a peaceful solution and that the situation will “return to a state of normalcy in the near-term.”