Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pōhiva has described the news that the United Kingdom is to re-engage with the Pacific as “music to Tongan ears.”

Hon. Pōhiva, who is in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, offered the British Government the use of its former residence in Nuku’alofa.

The UK pulled out of Tonga 12 years ago and reduced its presence in its former colonies in the Islands.

At the moment the closest British diplomatic representative is in Fiji.

It is expected to increase its presence in the Pacific after it leaves the European Union.

“Before I departed Nuku’alofa I asked the Chief of Staff of His Majesty’s Armed Forces to deploy some of his men to repair the fence of the Residence as well as the minor damage caused by Cyclone Gita,” the Prime Minister said.

The Head of the UK’s Diplomatic Service, Sir Simon McDonald, said the United Kingdom would soon announce that it would re-open its missions in some Pacific Islands.

However, he did not specifically identify Tonga as being one of those countries.

Sir Simon was hosting a roundtable ahead of the official opening of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II at Buckingham Palace.

Other participants from the Pacific Islands included, Hon, Tuilaepa Malielegaoi, Prime Minister of Samoa, Hon Baron Waqa MP, the President of Nauru, as well as Ministers from the other Pacific countries.

The main points

  • Prime Minister ‘Akilisi Pohiva has described the news that the United Kingdom is to re-engage with the Pacific as “music to Tongan ears.”
  • Pohiva, who is in London for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, offered the British Government the use of its former Residence in Nuku’alofa.
  • The UK pulled out of Tonga 12 years ago and reduced its presence in its former colonies in the Islands.

For more information 

Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2018

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