29 Jul 2015

Australian foreign minister pays tribute to Natapei

7:13 am on 29 July 2015

The Australian foreign minister has paid tribute to the former Vanuatu prime minister Edward Natapei who died yesterday.

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The former Prime Minister Edward Natapei died early yesterday. Photo: RNZ / Alex Perrottet

Julie Bishop has conveyed her condolences to the government and people of Vanuatu on the passing of the eminent parliamentarian and statesman, describing him as a great friend to Australia.

She says Mr Natapei was widely admired in Vanuatu and the Pacific for his dedication and leadership on international issues.

Ms Bishop says she had the pleasure of working with Mr Natapei on bilateral, regional and global issues during his term as Foreign Minister and that his passing is a great loss to Vanuatu and the region.

Mr Natapei is to be given a state funeral on Friday.