Foreign condolences continue to pour in for King

Foreign condolences continue to pour in for King

Here are some of the latest reactions to the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej on Thursday, as compiled by The Associated Press.

BEIJING - China has credited King Bhumibol for his "remarkable contributions" to Thailand's development.

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Bhumibol worked to strengthen ties between China and Thailand and "made an irreplaceable contribution to cementing the two people's friendship and expanding bilateral cooperation."

"China deeply mourns King Bhumibol's passing and expresses sincere condolences to the Thai people and government," the ministry said.

WASHINGTON - US Secretary of Defence Ash Carter said the men and women of the Department of Defence joined President Obama in offering their condolences to the Royal Family of the Kingdom of Thailand and the people of Thailand.

"As his majesty's legacy is being honoured around the world, I want in particular to recognise his majesty's contributions to the long-standing alliance between our two nations," Carter said.

HONG KONG - Acting chief executive, Carrie Lam, has expressed profound sadness at the passing of the king.

"On behalf of the people and Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, it is with great sadness that I express our profound condolences on the passing of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej," Mr Lam said in a statement.

"We join the people of Thailand during this period of national mourning and reflection," Mr Lam said.

CANBERRA - Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Friday described King Bhumibol as "a major figure in modern Asian history."

"We are deeply saddened by the passing of His Majesty and we offer our condolences to the Thai royal family and the people of Thailand," Mr Turnbull told Radio 3AW.

"He is a major figure in modern Asian history. Under his reign, Thailand's population grew from just under 20 million to over 67 million and of course the strides in economic and social development have been enormous," Turnbull said.

"The Thai community in Australia, which is close to 50,000, will particularly feel the loss of His Majesty, a very, very revered figure," Turnbull said.

AUCKLAND - New Zealand Prime Minister John Key says his thoughts are with the people of Thailand following the death of the king.

"King Bhumibol was the world's longest serving monarch and presided over a period of transformative growth and development that saw Thailand emerge as a regional leader and one of South East Asia's major economies," Mr Key said.

He said that the king and Queen Sirikit visited New Zealand, and that more than 100,000 New Zealanders visit Thailand each year.

"I extend the New Zealand Government's sincerest condolences to Queen Sirikit, Thailand's Royal Family and all the people of Thailand," Key said.

JAKARTA - Indonesia offered its deepest condolence to Thailand on the death of the country's king.

In a statement at the state palace, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said the king was a world leader who was close to his people and brought prosperity during his reign of 70 years.

"On behalf of the Indonesian government and people, I express deep condolences on the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej," Jokowi said. "The world has lost a leader who was close to the people, a carrier of peace and unity and prosperity for the people of Thailand."

He added emphasized that the Thai King's modesty and concerns for his people deserves to be emulated.

WASHINGTON - Former US President Bill Clinton and his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, have offered their heartfelt condolences over the death of Thailand's king, calling him a kind, good leader.

"His Majesty deepened ties between the US and Thailand, our first ally in Southeast Asia. He was a true servant leader, acting with wisdom, strength, humility, and genuine care for the welfare of all people," the former president said in a statement issued Thursday.

He added: "I was honoured to visit Thailand as President on the 50th year of his reign when we celebrated our shared love of jazz music, and Hillary was grateful to have had the opportunity, with President Obama, to visit with His Majesty on her last trip to Thailand."

MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent his condolences over the death of the king, noting the country's achievements during his 70-year reign.

Putin said that King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who died Thursday at age 88, has presided over successful economic development and contributed to the strengthening of Thailand's positions abroad. He said in his telegram that the king won "sincere love of his people and high respect abroad."

According to the Kremlin, Putin also noted in his letter that the king will be remembered in Russia for his support of friendship and cooperation between the two countries.

Putin offered his support for the royal family, the government and the people of Thailand.

UNITED NATIONS - The General Assembly and Security Council stood in silent tribute to Thailand's King Bhumibol, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called him "a unifying national leader" who is "highly respected internationally."

Assembly President Peter Thompson asked the assembly at the start of Thursday's meeting to stand for a moment of silence in tribute to the king, who died earlier in the day. Shortly after, Russia's deputy UN ambassador, Petr Iliichev, did the same at the start of a Security Council meeting.

The assembly, the council, and the secretary-general sent condolences to the royal family and the government and people of Thailand.

"At this time of sorrow and loss," Ban said, "I hope that Thailand will continue to honour King Bhumibol's legacy of commitment to universal values and respect for human rights."

BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel has expressed her condolences on the death of King Bhumibol, saying the monarch modernised and strengthened his country during his seven decades on the throne.

Merkel said in a statement Thursday that Bhumibol had "worked tirelessly for the welfare of the Thai people" and steered the country through "political and economic crises."

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Bhumibol had contributed significantly to the friendship between Thailand and Germany.

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