U.S. To Resume Military Aid To Thailand Following Election




 
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U.S. To Resume Military Aid To Thailand Following Election
 
February 2nd, 2008  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: U.S. To Resume Military Aid To Thailand Following Election


U.S. To Resume Military Aid To Thailand Following Election
Wall Street Journal (wsj.com)
February 1, 2008 BANGKOK (AP)--The U.S. announced Friday it would resume military and other aid to Thailand as a result of the country's successful election and the formation of a democratically elected government.
Soon after the September 2006 coup ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, Washington suspended US$35 million in funds to Thailand, most of it military aid, invoking laws that bar certain aid to governments that have taken power by force.
Free trade negotiations between the countries also were suspended.
"These sanctions put in place after the coup will be lifted now that Thailand is about to become a fully restored democratic country," said Michael Turner, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok. "When the new government is fully in place, then the U.S. can lift its sanctions and resume normal relations with Thailand."
A Thai government spokesman couldn't immediately be reached for comment.
New Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, who met briefly Friday with U.S. Ambassador Eric John, is expected to unveil a Cabinet in the next few days. The most powerful ministries - defense, interior, justice, finance and foreign affairs - are expected to go to Thaksin's trusted allies, the ex-prime minister's legal adviser Noppadon Pattama told The Associated Press.
Samak's People's Power Party, a new group backed by Thaksin, won the largest number of seats in parliamentary elections last month, the first since the coup. A six-party coalition led by the PPP controls about two-thirds of the 480 seats in the lower house, giving it the right to form a new government.
Samak, a veteran right-wing firebrand who openly says he is a proxy for Thaksin, was appointed prime minister Monday.
The U.S., other Western nations and rights groups had criticized the coup as a setback for democracy. Thailand's military accused Thaksin of corruption and abuse of power.
 


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