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US 'Disappointed' by Thailand's Military Coup


The United States has joined other nations in expressing concern about the military coup that toppled Thailand's government.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said Wednesday that the United States is "disappointed" with the coup and is calling for those behind the takeover to "make good swiftly on their promises to restore democracy."

Australia's foreign minister Alexander Downer called the coup "unacceptable," and urged an immediate restoration of democratic rule in Bangkok.

New Zealand also criticized the military action. Prime Minister Helen Clark says her country condemns any attempt to overturn a government by unconstitutional and undemocratic means.

The European Union demanded an immediate return to democratic order.

Other leaders took a less critical tone, while still voicing deep concern about events in Thailand.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso said the coup was "regrettable," adding that officials in Tokyo hope democratic order will soon be restored.

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi said he was "shocked," while Indonesia's Foreign Ministry called for the political crisis to be resolved through democratic means.

Several Asian nations, the United States and Britain have advised their citizens to think carefully about travel to Thailand at this time, and warned those already there to be extremely careful.

Thai financial officials attending the International Monetary Fund and World Bank meetings in Singapore rushed home to Bangkok Wednesday. IMF officials say they are closely monitoring the situation, but have not seen any economic consequences arising from the political upheaval.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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