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US cuts more Thailand aid, considers moving exercises

Published on Jun 25, 2014 6:07 AM
Protesters against military rule face soldiers at the Victory monument in Bangkok on May 26, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States said on Tuesday it has suspended more assistance to Thailand in response to a military coup and was considering moving a major regional exercise out of the kingdom.

Washington has blocked US$4.7 million (S$5.9 million) in security-related aid to Thailand, which accounts for roughly half of its US$10.5 million in annual assistance to the longtime ally, State Department official Scot Marciel said in testimony to Congress.

The United States swiftly rebuked Thailand’s military after it defied warnings not to intervene in the political chaos. The State Department announced that it had frozen US$3.5 million in aid just one day after the May 22 coup.

The additionally suspended assistance has included a US-sponsored firearms training programme for the Thai police and a study trip to the United States for senior Thai police officers, another US official said.

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