GOVERNMENT OF TONGA

MEDIA RELEASE

(13 June 2017) (EMBARGO for Wednesday 14th June 2017, 2:00pm)

“Tonga to welcome NZ Prime Minister English in inaugural visit to the Kingdom”

The Prime Minister of Tonga, Hon. Samuela ‘Akilisi Pohiva, will host the Prime Minister of New Zealand, the Right Honourable Bill English, during  a three day visit of the Kingdom, from 15-17 June, 2017.

Prime Minister English is expected to lead a delegation to the Cook Islands, Niue and Tonga on its 2017 Pacific Mission. Choosing Tonga as part of this year’s Pacific Mission reflects the close ties that New Zealand places on its relationship with Tonga.

The last Head of Government visit was made by then-Prime Minister John Key in 2014. Mr. English’s visit as New Zealand’s new Prime Minister will bolster diplomatic ties between the two countries. The two leaders will discuss Tonga’s strategic directions and priorities, identifying areas where New Zealand can add value in, to improve cooperation and partnerships with Tonga.

Furthermore, the two Prime Ministers will have an opportunity to interact with key players in the energy, law and justice, defence and sports sector, which are priorities for the Tongan Government and is supported by the New Zealand Aid Program

A delegation of 70 members will accompany PM English on this mission, including cross party MPs, Pacific leaders, and representatives from Non-Governmental Organisations.

-ENDS

Issued by the:The Prime Minister’s Office, P.O. Box 62, Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Tel: (676) 24 644     Fax:  (676) 23 888; For media enquiries- Email:pressoffice@pmo.gov.toWebsite: www.pmo.gov.to

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