I will travel to Tonga today to represent Australia at the state funeral service for the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Tonga, Hon Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva.
Australians were saddened to hear of the passing of Prime Minister Pohiva and we offer our condolences to the people of Tonga. Our two countries’ close and longstanding friendship was strengthened under the leadership of Prime Minister Pohiva, who served his people in the Tongan Parliament for nearly three decades.
Prime Minister Pohiva was a strong advocate for democratic reform and successfully prosecuted many issues of importance to his country and the Pacific in regional and international fora.
Prime Minister Morrison and I were fortunate to spend time with Prime Minister Pohiva at the Pacific Islands Forum in Tuvalu in August, where he was a strong advocate for his people. It was a privilege to learn from his wisdom on issues important to the Pacific.
Prime Minister Pohiva was a true friend of Australia and he will be greatly missed.