24 Nov 2015

Tongan PM pulls out of international meetings

1:28 pm on 24 November 2015

The Prime Minister of Tonga has pulled out of a number of high-level meetings due to health reasons.

Akilisi Pohiva

Akilisi Pohiva Photo: AAP (file)

'Akilisi Pohiva has spent the last few weeks in Auckland, undergoing medical tests.

The Prime Minister's Office announced at the beginning of the month that Mr Pohiva would travel to Auckland for what was described as a medical routine check-up.

He was still expected to attend a number of international meetings this month.

However the office now says he will not go to the Commonweath Heads of Government Meeting in Malta, the France-Oceania Summit in Paris or the UN COP21 climate change meeting which is also in Paris.

Mr Pohiva's office says due to the results of his medical check-up, the 74-year-old Prime Minister is unable to travel long distances and he has sent his apologies.

The Minister for Agriculture, Food, Forestry & Fisheries Semisi Fakahau is now leading the delegation to the CHOGM meeting in Malta.

The Chief Secretary & Secretary to Cabinet Palenitina Langa'oi will lead the delegation to the France-Oceania Summit, while the Deputy Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni will go to COP21 in Mr Pohiva's absence.