- Associated Press - Friday, May 23, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Pentagon says the U.S. Army chief of staff is urging the head of Thailand’s army to return the country to democratic rule, just days after the military there ousted the government and seized control in a bloodless coup.

A Pentagon spokesman says Gen. Ray Odierno called Gen. Prayuth Chan-ocha and was clear about the expectation that democratic principles be restored as soon as possible.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby says it was a constructive conversation but declined to provide more details.

Kirby says that as of Friday, the U.S. military exercises with Thailand have not been called off. There are 700 U.S. troops participating in the exercises, which include ships and aircraft.

The Pentagon is reviewing its military relationship with Thailand in lieu of the coup.

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