Thai PM Prayut says meeting with Myanmar's military envoy not endorsement

Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha (above) said he mostly listened to Mr Wunna Maung Lwin talk about "political developments" and the situation in Myanmar. PHOTO: AFP

BANGKOK (REUTERS) - Thailand's prime minister said on Thursday (Feb 25) that his meeting with Myanmar's military-appointed foreign minister on Wednesday, following the Feb 1 coup in the neighbouring country did not mean "endorsement".

He mainly listened to Mr Wunna Maung Lwin, appointed by the Myanmar military, talk about "political developments" and the situation in Myanmar, Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha told reporters.

Mr Prayut also denied that Thailand has joined Indonesia in becoming a mediator to solve the situation in Myanmar.

"The political issue is their country's matter. I want to encourage them to move the country towards democracy as quickly as possible," said Mr Prayut, a former army general who seized power in a 2014 coup and became a civilian prime minister in a disputed 2019 election that he said was free and fair.

"It didn't mean that I was endorsing anything. He didn't ask me to. I was only listening to what he was telling me, that's all."

The foreign ministers of Thailand and Indonesia also met Mr Wunna Maung Lwin in the Thai capital on Wednesday.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, during the meeting at which Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai was also present, reiterated the importance of an inclusive democratic transition process and called for a conducive environment in the form of "dialogue, reconciliation and trust building".

Ms Retno said she also expressed "loud and clear" to Mr Wunna Maung Lwin the importance of all Asean member countries respecting the principles contained in the Asean charter, as well as the importance of humanitarian access and visits to detainees.

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