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A protester chants slogans during a rally against military rule at Victory Monument in Bangkok, May 27, 2014..(Photo by: REUTERS)
Israel, wary of possible danger to tourists, says it's concerned by army coup in Thailand
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it is monitoring the situation closely to ensure the safety of its citizens in Thailand.
Israel on Tuesday said it was concerned that the Thai army chief had assumed full governmental powers over his country.

Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha seized power on Thursday, saying the army had to restore order after nearly seven months of sometimes deadly demonstrations.

The Foreign Ministry said it is monitoring the situation closely to ensure the safety of its citizens in Thailand, which is one of the most popular tourist destinations for Israelis.

“Israel holds Thailand’s constitutional democratic institutions and civil rights in the highest regard and hopes the military leadership will reinstate these at the earliest,” the Foreign Ministry said.

“As a close friend of Thailand, Israel wishes for the swift and peaceful resolution of the current crisis and for a return to normalcy and stability consistent with democratic principles,” it said, calling on “all parties involved” to refrain from violence.

Thailand’s army has moved quickly to stamp out dissent and tackle economic problems, notably preparing payments for hundreds of thousands of rice farmers that the ousted government was unable to make.

The military has detained scores of politicians and activists and anyone defying a summons could be jailed for up to two years. It has censored the media and imposed a nightly curfew.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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