This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government
Mark Kent, British Ambassador to Thailand, on Friday 29 November met with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and Opposition Leader Abhisit Vejjajiva.
The United Kingdom is a long-standing friend of Thailand. Our relationship spans over 400 years and covers all aspects of society, from our two monarchies, to governmental cooperation, business, tourism, culture and sport. Many British people have a positive image and experience of Thailand, with nearly 900,000 British tourists each year. There is a sizeable British resident community in Thailand. British companies have significant trade and investment interests in Thailand, and Thai companies in the UK.
The Ambassador discussed the current situation in Thailand with both the Prime Minister and leader of the Opposition. It is, of course, for Thailand, as a sovereign state, to resolve the current situation in the country. The primary power and responsibility lies with the Thai people and their representatives, rather than the international community. In that context, we trust that all sides will work together for the national interest and the future of the country. The UK, in line with other members of the international community, hopes that all sides will use peaceful methods and dialogue to find a way forward. As stated by Minister Hugo Swire and in line with the position expressed by the European Union, the UK believes that issues should be resolved within the framework of the democratic system, respecting the rule of law. The UK views the right to peaceful protest as an inherent part of freedom of expression, which should be guaranteed in a democracy. There should be no place for use of violence or undemocratic methods, including the unsanctioned occupation of property.
The United Kingdom looks forward to continuing to strengthen its relationship with Thailand, both bilaterally and as a member of the European Union, and to working together to tackle global challenges.
Follow British Ambassador Mark Kent on twitter @KentBKK