U.S. urges peaceful solution to crisis in Thailand

08:25, April 22, 2010      

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The United States on Wednesday urged the Thai government and the "red-shirt" protesters to resolve their disagreements peacefully, warning that any violence would not be helpful for the political crisis.

"We would continue to encourage both sides to work out their disagreements peacefully ... We don't believe that violence in any shape or form is a solution to this political challenge," said State Department spokesman Philip Crowley.

"This is something that has ultimately to be resolved in Thailand," said Crowley.

The anti-government "red-shirt" protesters, led by the United Democratic Front against Dictatorship (UDD), have gathered in Bangkok since March 12 for pressing Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to immediately dissolve the lower house of parliament and hold a new general election.

The UDD, which supports former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra who was ousted in a coup in 2006, on Wednesday ruled out new direct talks with the Vejjajiva-led government.

Citing the ongoing demonstration, the State Department on Tuesday issued a travel alert to U.S. citizens, urging them to avoid traveling in Bangkok and to keep "caution and vigilance at all times."



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