BANGKOK – The United States Embassy in Bangkok, Charge d’Affaires Patrick Murphy has declined an invitation to appear before Thailand’s Junta run National Legislative Assembly (NLA) on the 11th February, citing the restrictions of protocol.
Mr. Murphy was invited by the NLA foreign affairs committee after the Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Daniel Russel had made remarks regarding Thailand’s political situation that were deemed by Thai officials as meddling and non-constructive.
According to the NLA spokesperson, Chukiart Rattanachaichan, the United States embassy has notified the Ministry of Foreign Affairs that the United States charge d’affaires would not be attending the meeting, as he is barred by regulation from meeting with the NLA.
The foreign affairs committee understands the reasoning behind the decline and will not try to arrange another meeting with Mr. Murphy, Mr. Chukiart said.
The spokesperson however affirmed that the meeting was only meant as an opportunity to open a dialogue and exchange opinions, a move that has been done with officials from countries like Switzerland, Australia, and Hungary.