America suspends military aid to Thailand | india | Hindustan Times
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America suspends military aid to Thailand

india Updated: Sep 29, 2006 17:38 IST
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The US government has suspended nearly $24 million in military aid to Thailand in response to last week's military coup, the state department said.

The funding includes money for military equipment, training of peacekeepers and from a new Defence Department programme to strengthen foreign military forces in anti-terrorism operations, department spokesperson Sean McCormack said on Thursday.

The bulk of the suspended aid - $16.3 million - comes from the Pentagon programme, launched this year, to train and equip foreign militaries in counter-terrorism operations.

The programmes would be reinstated after a democratically elected Thai government takes office, he told reporters.

He renewed US appeals for Thailand's military rulers to allow a return to democracy and speedy elections.

Army chief General Sondhi Boonyaratglin seized power in a bloodless coup Sep 19, ousting billionaire Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and abolishing Thailand's 1997 Constitution.

Sondhi, who has the backing from Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej, has pledged to hand over power to a civilian cabinet within two weeks and to hold a general election by October 2007.