Australia cuts ties with Thailand over military coup
ByREUTERS
31 May 2014 09:21

Australia downgraded ties with Thailand on Saturday in the wake of this month's military coup, imposing a travel ban on the junta leaders and cutting defence cooperation in some of the toughest punitive measures taken by a foreign government.

The US and other foreign governments have condemned the May 22 coup, calling for a rapid return to democracy.



The Australian government said it had postponed three activities with the Thai military and would prevent the leaders of the coup from travelling to Australia as it continues to have "grave concerns" about the military's actions in Thailand.



"In line with our concerns, Australia is reducing our engagement with the Thai military and will lower the level of our interaction with the Thai military leadership," Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Minister David Johnston said in a joint statement.



Coup leader General Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Friday there would be no elections for at least a year, arguing reforms must come first. Reforms could only be implemented if there was peace and stability and would take about a year, he added.

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