Govt handling human rights carefully, PM tells Obama

Govt handling human rights carefully, PM tells Obama

Manila: Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha has assured US President Barack Obama the government is handling human right issues carefully and will try his best to lead the country to a sustainable democracy.

Speaking on Wednesday night after the first-day of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) leaders summit in the Philippines, Gen Prayut said he had a brief conversation with Mr Obama, who sat beside him in alphabetic order, about Thai political developments and human right issues.

"I assured him we carefully handle the issues but sometimes misunderstandings are caused by untrue information, manipulated by those with ill-intentions," Gen Prayut said.

"I would like to urge media not to report false information, especially about human rights issues that lead to pressures," he added.

Gen Prayut offered the assurance amid international pressure after Bangkok deported two Chinese dissidents back to China, even though they were given refugee status.

Washington has expressed grave disappointment over the deportations. Regarding political developments, Mr Obama told Gen Prayut he knew Thai politics is complicated but still supported efforts to restore democracy.

"I assured him I will try my best to give Thailand a full and sustainable democracy," Gen Prayut said.

During the talks, the premier also thanked the US president for sending US ambassador Glyn Davies in Thailand.

"Mr Obama replied he was delighted to send Mr Davies as the alliance between two countries is long-standing, and we cannot abandon each other," Gen Prayut said.

Deputy government spokesman Werachon Sukhondhapatipak said Gen Prayut attended a retreat session on Thursday for the 23rd Apec leaders meeting. He said Thailand supported Apec's efforts to develop human capital as it was key to cooperation among Apec countries.

Maj Gen Werachon said Gen Prayut also told Asia-Pacific countries to prepare themselves for an ageing society which would present new challenges.

He also met with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Wednesday and agreed to visit Russia in May next year with a number of agreements to be signed, according to deputy government spokesman Werachon Sukhondhapatipak.

Maj Gen Werachon said Gen Prayut will assign ministers overseeing the economy and security to make trips to Russia prior to his official visit.

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