WITH the passing of King George Tupou V of Tonga, the United States has lost a friend and the people of Tonga have lost a visionary leader, a statement from U.S White House say.
The condolence message was extended yesterday from the U.S President Barrack Obama.
In the statement Mr. Obama said upon ascending to the throne, King George championed a process of peaceful democratization that led to the first majority elected Parliament of Tonga taking office in 2010.
The U.S President went on to say when he met with the King at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy graduation last spring, “Tonga is one of the United States’ closest partners among the Pacific Island states and we are grateful for its role in Afghanistan, where Tonga makes an active contribution to the international coalition.”
He also extended a condolence message to the Royal Family.
“On behalf of all Americans, I extend my deepest condolences to the Queen Mother Halaevalu Mata’aho, the Royal Family, and the people of Tonga on the passing of King George Tupou V,” said the U.S. President.
Tonga and the United States had developed a close relationship over the years with deployment of Tongan troops to Iraq as peak in bilateral ties between the two countries.