Foreign Diplomats in Thailand attend a briefing of the new constitution drafting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Bangkok, Thailand, February 9, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha
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The United States launched annual military exercises with Thailand on Tuesday but repeated a call for a swift return to democracy in the junta-ruled country.Some 3,600 U.S. troops are in Thailand for the 11-day exercises alongside soldiers from regional nations including Thailand, Japan and Malaysia.The U.S. has tried to walk the line between its longstanding alliance with Thailand and condemning the coup, which has been followed by a protracted clampdown on dissent.In the wake of the army power grab, Washington suspended $4.7 million in security-related aid to Thailand, roughly half of its annual assistance.
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