News World US suspends Thailand aid

US suspends Thailand aid

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The United States said Friday it has suspended $US3.5 million ($A3.8 million) for Thailand, about a third of its aid to the ally, after the military seized power.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said that the United States was also reviewing the rest of US aid to Thailand – which totalled some $US10.5 million in 2013 – to look for further cuts.

“We have already suspended approximately $3.5 million” in funding and training for the Thai military, Harf told reporters on Friday.

“We are reviewing all programs to determine other assistance which we may suspend,” she said.

Harf said that the US was looking through its allocated funding for international bodies including the 10-nation ASEAN bloc to identify money directed to Thailand.

Under domestic law, the US is obligated to suspend assistance to foreign militaries that overthrow elected governments.

Secretary of State John Kerry earlier strongly condemned Thursday’s coup, saying there was “no justification” and that the move would have “negative implications” for relations.

Kerry urged the restoration of a civilian government, respect for press freedom and early elections.

Thailand is the oldest US ally in Asia and provided critical support in the Vietnam and Korean wars.