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Senator the Hon David Johnston
Minister for Defence
2 June 2014
The Australian Government continues to have grave concerns about the actions of the military in Thailand.
Since the military seized control of government functions on 22 May, the Government has registered our concerns to authorities in Bangkok through Australia’s Ambassador to Thailand and the Thai Embassy in Canberra.
In line with our concerns, Australia is reducing our engagement with the Thai military and will lower the level of our interaction with the Thai military leadership.
Australia has postponed three activities planned for coming weeks in Thailand: a military operations law training course for Thai military officers; a reconnaissance visit for a counter improvised explosive device training exercise; and a reconnaissance visit for a counter terrorism training exercise. We will continue to review defence and other bilateral activities.
The Australian Government has also put in place a mechanism to prevent the leaders of the coup from travelling to Australia.
The Australian Government continues to call on the military to set a pathway for a return to democracy and the rule of law as soon as possible, to refrain from arbitrary detentions, to release those detained for political reasons and to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms.
Australians travelling to or already in Thailand should visit www.smartraveller.gov.au, familiarise themselves with the travel advice, subscribe to receive regular updates and register their travel plans.
Australia and Thailand have enjoyed a substantial and warm relationship for more than 60 years, based on shared interests and goodwill, as well as close people-to-people links. We look forward to normalising our relationship as soon as possible.
Foreign Minister’s Office: Catherine McDonald 0478 488 874
Defence Minister’s Office: Mark Dodd 0477 389 560
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