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Tonga-US Celebration on the Occasion of the 237th Anniversary of US Independence

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14 June 2013, U.S Ambassador to Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga and Tuvalu, Frankie Reed and Commodore Wallace Lovely, Commanding Officer of Pacific Partnership 2013, hosted an early U.S. Independence Day celebration in Tonga to recognize the share values of the people of the United States and the Kingdom of Tonga.

Ambassador Reed and Commodore Lovely were in Tonga for Pacific Partnership 2013, the largest U.S Navy led humanitarian assistance program in Asia-Pacific in partnership with Australia, Canada, New Zealand, France, Malaysia, South Korea, Singapore, and Colombia.

His majesty King Tupou VI was the guest of honor at the Celebration. Also in attendance were the Hon Prime Minister Lord Tu'ivakano, members of government and the diplomatic corps, other invited guests, and the men and women of the U.S.S. Pearl Harbor.

U.S. Independence Day is celebrated on July 4th and this year it will mark the 237th anniversary of America's decision to establish a country committed to values still embodied in the hearts and spirits of all Americans: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Ambassador Reed recognized that these values are shared with the peoples of the Pacific and encouraged cooperation and collaboration based on mutual respect. "We are proud of our strong rapport and collaborative efforts with the Kingdom of Tonga to address important regional and global issues such as health, maritime security, poverty alleviation, and environmental protection," she said. "The U.S. - Tonga relationship is important to the United States -- a relationship we hope will continue to strengthened."

Commodore Lovely thanked the people of the Kingdom of Tonga for their warm welcome and said, "the basic ideals that gave rise to the first Pacific Partnership in 2006 and still underpin it today are the same that drove the United States to independence 237 years ago...commitment to a common good and belief in our fellow citizen."

In his remarks Prime Minister Lord Tu'ivakano said, "since the United States of America first recognized the Kingdom of Tonga in 1886, the partnership between our two countries has broadened and deepened on shared values and enhanced cooperation on bilateral, regional, and international issues."

Pacific Partnership is the largest annual combined and joint disaster response preparedness mission in the Asia-Pacific region designed to streghten regional relationships and increase inter-operability between the Unites States, partner nations and international humanitarian and relief organizations. PP13 will visit the countries of Samoa, Tonga, Kiribati, Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands to provide medical, dental, veterinary and civic engineering services to the local populations

ENDS

Issued by: Ministry of Information and Communication Nuku'alofa, Tonga

 
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