U.S. urges Thailand to lift state of emergency

20:30, July 16, 2010      

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Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya (R) meets with U.S. Under-Secretary of State William Burns in Bangkok, Thailand, on July 16, 2010. William Burns said Friday that the U.S. hopes that the Thai government could lift the state of emergency in Bangkok and 18 other provinces "as soon as possible".(Xinhua/Shi Xianzhen)
A senior U.S. envoy said Friday that the U.S. hopes that the Thai government could lift the state of emergency in Bangkok and 18 other provinces "as soon as possible".

"Clearly the U.S. hopes that the state of emergency can be lifted as soon as possible," William Burns, U.S. Under Secretary of State for politics told reporters after a "strategic dialogue" with Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya.

On April 7, Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency in Bangkok and some areas of the nearby five provinces to deal with then anti-government "red-shirts" rally. The area under the emergency law have been expanded to 24 provinces later. On July 6, the government approved to renew the emergency decree in Bangkok and other 18 provinces, citing intelligence reports that there are still some people trying to commit sabotage.

The situation in Thailand is tense after street protests ended after an army disperse in May 19. The "red shirt" movement called for the United States to mediate but opposed by the government.

During the talks, Burns exchanged views with Thai officials on bilateral, regional, and global issues of mutual interest, said Thai Foreign Minister Kasit.

Burns is scheduled to deliver a speech at Bangkok-based Chulalongkorn University on the U.S.-Thai alliance and cooperation in the region.

Thailand is the first leg of his four-nation southeast Asia trip which will also take him to Cambodia, Indonesia and the Philippines, according to a statement of U.S. Department of State.

Burns' visit "to these South-east Asian partners is an important element of the administration's commitment to increased and deepened engagement with this dynamic region," the statement said.

Source: Xinhua

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