Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier issued the following statement today (22 May) on the situation in Thailand:
I condemn the seizure of power by the military in Thailand and urge them to exercise the utmost restraint. All stakeholders must return to a political process immediately. Moreover, I appeal to the army leaders to restart the dialogue between Thailand’s political forces. It is vital for elections to be held swiftly.
Constitutionally protected fundamental freedoms must be guaranteed. They include freedom of the press. We call upon all Germans in the country to avoid crowds and keep themselves informed of the Federal Foreign Office Travel and Security Advice which is updated continuously .
In a televised address to the nation, military leader General Prayuth Chan-Ocha announced on Thursday that army and police had taken power. This, he said, was necessary “in order for the country to return to normal quickly.”The acting government has thus de facto been removed. From now on, there is a nationwide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. On Tuesday, the army had declared martial law. On Wednesday, the army brokered crisis talks between government and opposition. Both followers and opponents of the government had, however, announced that they were going to continue protesting.
In view of the unstable situation, people wishing to travel to Thailand are advised to consult the Federal Foreign Office website to find out about the latest developments. The Federal Foreign Office regularly analyses the situation, updating its Travel and Security Advice as necessary, most recently early this afternoon.