On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I would like to extend my sincerest condolences to the people of Tonga on the passing of Prime Minister Samiuela ‘Akilisi Pōhiva on September 12.
Prime Minister Pōhiva was a respected leader in the Pacific long before he was elected to head Tonga’s government. His hard work and dedication throughout his life and career steered the course of politics in Tonga and strengthened regional cohesion. His energetic engagement at the Pacific Islands Forum just last month in Tuvalu demonstrated his commitment to the institutions and the peoples of the Pacific. I am grateful for Prime Minister Pōhiva’s legacy of leadership, and his advocacy for human rights and democracy.