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13 nations urged to withdraw their travel advisory

Feb 02. 2012
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By The Nation

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Thailand is calling on 13 countries to withdraw their advisory against travelling to the Kingdom based on fears of possible terrorist attacks, senior government figures said Thursday.


Foreign Minister Surapong Towichukchaikul said he would discuss the matter with diplomats from European Union member countries and update them on the current situation in Thailand. 
“It has been a long time since they first issued the warning. Now the threat no longer exists. There is no terrorism here because Thailand is friendly with every country, including Muslim nations and the Middle East,” he said.
Surapong added that he was also planning to speak to the US ambassador about the matter. 
“People often believe in what the United States has to say, though sometimes the information can be inaccurate,” he said, urging the US to be more careful about making announcements that could adversely affect Thailand in the future.
Of the 21 countries that issued travel advisories, nine – namely the US, China, Germany, France, Israel, Brazil, Norway, Netherlands and Denmark – have either withdrawn or eased their warnings. However, 13 countries, namely the United Kingdom, Australia, Austria, Taiwan, Greece, South Korea, Japan, Canada, Sweden, Italy, Romania, Ireland and New Zealand, have retained the warning, the minister said.
Deputy Prime Minister Chalerm Yoobamrung Thursday called on these countries to withdraw the warning, saying that the government had the matter under control. 
“Everything is alright now,” he said.
Speaking at Thursday’s House of Representatives meeting, Chalerm said he felt the United States was “too easily startled” and was the first to issue the travel advisory, which encouraged other countries to do the same. 
Chalerm said Thai authorities worked closely with the international police organisation Interpol about the movements of terrorist suspects.
He explained that the Lebanese man arrested in Thailand for suspected terrorist activity was not planning an attack in the country. He said investigators had found that the suspects were in Thailand to prepare for attacks in another country. 

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