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U.S. Suspends Thai Aid Over Recent Coup

September 29, 2006|From Times Wire Services

WASHINGTON — The United States suspended nearly $24 million in aid to Thailand on Thursday because of the Asian nation's military coup, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said.

He said there should be a "rapid return to democratic rule" and "early elections."

Hours after McCormack spoke, Thai Auditor General Jaruvan Maintaka said military rulers had named Surayud Chulanont, a former army commander, interim prime minister.

The aid suspension affects more than $16 million in counter-terrorism and other training for the military, $3.3 million in peacekeeper training and $4 million for arms, officials said.

At least $9.8 million for humanitarian efforts and fighting terrorism and weapons of mass destruction will not be interrupted, McCormack said.

The Thai military launched a coup against Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Sept. 19.

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