Thailand and the United States have opened the largest annual joint military exercise in Southeast Asia but downplayed the presence of a Myanmar military officer.
Myanmar'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 neighboring Bangladesh.
US Ambassador to Thailand Glyn T Davies told reporters that Myanmar was not participating in the Cobra Gold exercise in eastern Thailand but didn't elaborate. Thai Gen.Thanchaiyan Srisuwan acknowledged inviting Myanmar to the opening ceremony.
US lawmakers last week demanded Myanmar's exclusion from the exercise. The US in a statement said 11,075 service members from 29 countries are participating.