Daniel Russel, the United States Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, met former Thai prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Monday morning to hear in person her views on the situation here.
A photograph of the meeting was released on the US Embassy’s Facebook page.
US Chargé d’affaires W Patrick Murphy was also present at the meeting.
Yingluck brought along former foreign minister Surapong Tovichakchaikul and former secretary-general to the prime minister Suranand Vejjajiva to meet the US official.
The 30-minute meeting was at the US ambassador’s residence.
The US government official asked them about the political situation after the retroactive impeachment of Yingluck who was found guilty of dereliction of duty for her rice-pledging scheme.
Later Russel met former prime minister Abhisit Vejjajiva at Democrat Party headquarters and Deputy Prime Minister/Foreign Minister Tanasak Patimapragorn at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha said Russel was scheduled to meet with Gen Tanasak but there is no appointment to meet the prime minister because the US was well aware of the assumption of his premiership.
However, as the head of the government, Gen Prayut said he ordered Gen Tanasak to explain political situation in Thailand before and after the May 22 coup, the government’s work that restored national order, and the next election that would follow the new constitution.
Gen Tanasak also presented the government’s progress in fisheries regulations and anti-human trafficking efforts.
“The arrival of Mr Russel has nothing to do with the NLA’s (National Legislative Assembly) impeachment of Ms Yingluck, so I would like to ask the media not to link the visit and the impeachment case. The visit was just a coincidence. Regarding Mr Russel’s meeting with Ms Yingluck, they have the right to do so and that poses no problems to me,” Gen Prayut said.