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Thread: Embassies Issue Traveler Alerts in Thailand

  1. #1
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    Embassies Issue Traveler Alerts in Thailand

    The Foreign Minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul said he felt disappointed that the US, Canadian and Australian embassies in Bangkok had issued warnings to their citizens of possible terrorist attacks in the capital without discussing the issue with the Thai Foreign Ministry first. He said the move would affect Thailand’s tourism industry and confidence in its public security.

    The ministry would send letters to the American, Canadian and Australian ambassadors, seeking explanations about the issuance of the warnings before taking counter measures.

    Mr Surapong echoed earlier remarks made by Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yubamrung that the Thai authorities had received information about the terror suspect before the US issued the warning.

    Police detained a Lebanese man linked to the Hizbollah group at Suvarnabhumi airport on Thursday night as he attempted to leave the kingdom.

    The man allegedly told police that his group had planned to attack public areas in Bangkok but cancelled it because Thailand’s security units had learned about the plans.

    The man’s arrest had prompted the United States and other countries to issue warnings on Friday that tourist venues in Bangkok could be terror targets.
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    The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has invited the Deputy Chief of Mission from the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok to discuss Thailand's security after the latter's posting of terror warnings last week.

    Mr. Thani Thongphakdi, Director-General of the Department of Information and Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, said that Mr. Sihasak Phuangketkeow, Permanent Secretary of Foreign Ministry, on Tuesday, invited Ms. Judith Beth Cefkin, Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok, to a meeting on Thailand's security situation.

    The meeting cane on the heels of the US Embassy's last week posting of terror warnings for American citizens in the Thai capital.

    Ms. Celfkin joined the meeting on behalf of Ambassador Kristie Kenney, who is on mission overseas.

    According to the Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Mr. Sihasak has expressed Thailand's concerns over the terror alerts, which should have been handled with caution and discretion as such actions could have serious impacts on Thailand.

    He added that the meeting has seen both sides reiterating the importance of battling all acts of terror and a closer cooperation.

    In addition, Mr. Sihasak has assured Ms. Cefkin that Thailand's security situation is not to be worried about while necessary safety measures have been put in place to cope with any unexpected circumstances.

    The Foreign Ministry Spokesperson added that Ms. Cefkin has acknowledged Thailand's stance and actions to keep the situation under the control.

    Moreover, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Bangkok has promised to consider removing the warnings soon.

    When asked about travel advisories issued by various governments, Mr. Thani said that each advisory will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis as other countries have only followed the US Embassy's move and have not banned their citizens from visiting Thailand.

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