US pulls out from military exercises in Thailand

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Associated Press

Posted on May 24, 2014 at 1:07 PM

Updated Saturday, May 24 at 1:33 PM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon has canceled ongoing military exercises with Thailand as a result of the military coup in the Southeast Asian country.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby says the U.S. has had a long and productive military relationship with Thailand. But Kirby says U.S. law and "our own democratic principles" require the U.S. to reconsider those military ties.

There were 700 U.S. troops participating in the annual naval exercises, which include sailors, marines, ships and aircraft.

Kirby says the Pentagon is also canceling the June visit of U.S. Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Harry Harris to Thailand and is withdrawing the invitation to the commander general of the Royal Thai Armed Forces to visit U.S. Pacific Command in June.

The U.S. is urging Thai military to end the coup.

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