30 Jun '11, 2am

US nervous ahead of Thai election

The United States is nervously watching Sunday's election in Thailand, with policymakers worried it may set off new instability that diminishes the role of Washington's oldest Asian ally. President Barack Obama's administration has made Southeast Asia a priority but has focused on building ties with Indonesia and former war foe Vietnam amid concern that Thailand is too absorbed in internal strife. US officials are hoping Thailand's election will proceed smoothly and pave the way for reconciliation, but some fear for the worst -- particularly as the campaign has been dominated by divisive former premier Thaksin Shinawatra. Kurt Campbell, the assistant secretary of state for East Asian affairs, said in May that the United States wanted "very much to work more closely" with Thailand and that the election period would be "decisive" in setting the course of relations. The Unite...

Full article: http://sg.news.yahoo.com/us-nervous-ahead-thai-election-0...

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