Trump to host Thai junta chief at White House next week

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WASHINGTON, D.C.: US President Donald Trump will host Thai junta chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha at the White House next Tuesday, in a personal coup for a Thai autocrat who was shunned by Barack Obama’s administration for his regime’s poor rights record. Ties between the long-time allies were strained by Prayut’s 2014 coup, which ushered in Thailand’s most authoritarian government in a generation. But Trump’s administration has started to reset relations with the junta government. Since he took office Washington has dispatched high-level US diplomats, including the secretary of state, whose predecessors under Obama had noticeably avoided the kingdom since the coup. “President Trump looks forward to reaffirming the relationship between the United States and a key partner and longstanding ally in Asia, the Kingdom of Thailand,” the White House said in a statement late Monday. “They will discuss economic trade and investment, and also exchange views on the regional situation,” said junta spokesman Major General Werachon Sukondhapatipak on Tuesday.

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AFP

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