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US believes no coup was staged in Thailand

Published on May 21, 2014 3:59 AM

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States said Tuesday that it did not believe ally Thailand's army had staged a coup but urged the military to respect democratic institutions.

"Martial law, the declaration of that, is allowed for in the Thai constitution," State Department spokesman Jen Psaki told reporters after gun-toting troops deployed across Bangkok.

"The army has stated publicly that it would be a temporary action. We expect them to abide by their commitment," Psaki said.

Psaki said that the United States has been in regular contact with the Thai military and was "encouraging calm, encouraging protection of civil liberties and freedom of speech and freedom of media."

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