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Thailand welcomes easing of EU political sanctions

Bangkok: Thailand's military junta has welcomed the European Union's decision to ease political sanctions imposed against it for overthrowing an elected government in 2014.
The EU's announcement is "good news" that underscores positive developments under military rule, Thai Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said Tuesday.
The EU's Foreign Affairs Council announced Monday that it was "appropriate to pursue a gradual political re-engagement with Thailand" because it had improved human rights conditions, adopted a new constitution and set an election date for 2018.
The EU suspended official visits with Thailand in response to the coup.
It said it would continue to review its relationship with Thailand while watching for the lifting of media restrictions and ban on political activities, and "the installation of a democratically elected civilian government." The EU also urged the junta not to try civilians in military courts on charges of insulting the royal family, or lese majeste. Thailand's lese majeste law is the harshest in the world, providing punishment of up to 15 years in prison per offense.
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