Chuck Hagel urges Thailand to 'return to democracy'

US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel has called on Thailand to "return to democracy" during an Asia-Pacific security forum after the military took over control of the government in a coup.

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Thailand army chief takes control of government

General Prayuth Chan-ocha pictured on Tuesday. Credit: Reuters

Thailand's army chief General Prayuth Chan-ocha has seized control of the government, saying the army had to restore order and push through reforms, two days after he declared martial law.

Prayuth made the announcement in a television broadcast after he held a meeting with all rival factions aimed at finding a solution to six months of anti-government protests.

He said the takeover would not affect international relations.

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