Burma presence played down at Thailand-US military exercise

Thailand and the United States have launched the largest annual joint military exercise in Southeast Asia but played down the presence of a Burmese military officer.

Burma's military has been accused of massive human rights violations in its crackdown on the Rohingya Muslim minority, who have fled by the hundreds of thousands to neighbouring Bangladesh.

File image. Food distributed at Rohingya Muslim refugee camp.

US Ambassador to Thailand Glyn T Davies told reporters that Burma was not participating in the Cobra Gold exercise in eastern Thailand but did not elaborate.

Thai General Thanchaiyan Srisuwan acknowledged inviting Burma to the opening ceremony at U-tapao airport in Rayong Province.

Last week, US politicians demanded Burma's exclusion from the exercise.

The US said in a statement that 11,075 service members from 29 countries are participating.

- PA

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