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Foreign Leader Fear Political Situation will Exacerbate



Surapong Tovichakchaikul (Photo by Somchai Poomlard)


BANGKOK – Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul has reported that  Several foreign countries fear that the current political conflict in Thailand will escalate, while voicing support for the general election.

Surapong Tovichakchaikul, who has recently been assigned by the Prime Minister to oversee the Center for the Administration of Peace and Order (CAPO), revealed that the international community had expressed its concern over the political situation in Thailand, as several countries feared that the situation in Thailand would exacerbate, while urging the caretaker government to resort to peaceful means in settling differences with the protesters.

They also voiced their support for the upcoming general election under the democratic system. The international community also hoped that the election, which is scheduled for February 2nd next year, would go smoothly in order for Thailand to quickly restore peace and stability.

The United States and Germany support solutions to Thailand’s political crisis under the framework of the constitution.

The United States strongly supports democratic institutions and the democratic process in Thailand, Jen Psaki, spokeswoman of the US Department of State said.

“We encourage all involved to resolve political differences peacefully and democratically in a way that reflects the will of the Thai people and strengthens the rule of law,” Ms Psaki said.

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle said he was highly concerned about a possible escalation of the political situation in Thailand.

He called on all parties to be restrained and patient to avoid an uncontrollable situation stemming from the conflict.

“Confrontation is not the way out. Negotiation under the framework of the constitution is the right track,” he said.

Further violence and bloodshed in Bangkok will set back Thai democracy, he noted.

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully is calling on all parties to respect the democratic process in Thailand after the government announced an early election.

He commended the restraint shown by the Thai authorities and hope this will carry through to the elections. He also expressed his belief that the best way to determine the will of the Thai people is through the ballot box, and urged all parties to see this as an opportunity to test their support.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she hoped Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra’s decision to call an early election on Feb 2 next year would end the unrest.

Ms Bishop urged peaceful solutions to the impasse and praised demonstrators for their non-violent rallies.

“Although Thailand has been grappling with major political challenges, I appreciate the way in which the Thai authorities have allowed peaceful demonstrations and responded in a restrained manner,” she added.

The Australian government warned its nationals to avoid all demonstrations and said it would closely monitor the protest situation since it could affect the safety and travel plans of Australians in Thailand.

Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird took the same tone in a statement that said Canada was worried about possible violence in Thailand.

“It is the right of every Thai citizen to voice their opinions and concerns through peaceful means and to exercise their democratic rights through an inclusive electoral process,” he said, referring to the snap polls called by Ms Yingluck.

“Canada is concerned by continuing protests in Bangkok and by renewed risks of associated violence and instability,” he added.

Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul will brief Asean ambassadors about the political situation on Thursday.

Thailand’s Constitution requires the election to be held 45-60 days from yesterday’s announcement.

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