**Wellington** New Zealand Prime Minister John Key on Friday extended his condolences to the people of Thailand on the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej.
“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 Southeast Asia’s major economies,” Key said in a statement, Xinhua news agency reported.
“During his reign, New Zealand and Thailand developed a close and friendly relationship, built on a shared desire for peace and security in our region,” said Key.
“King Bhumibol and Queen Sirikit helped to cement the relationship when they visited New Zealand in August 1962,” he said.
“More than 100,000 New Zealanders visit Thailand each year and with the strong bond of friendship between our two countries, I know many will share in the deep sense of loss and sadness being felt by the Thai people.”
Thai King Bhumibol Adulyadej passed away on Thursday at the age of 88.