World leaders are expressing their condolences to the Thai people as they mourn the loss of their beloved King Bhumibol, who had served for 70 years.
U.N. Secretary General Ban ki Moon expressed his "deep condolences" for the Royal family, the government, and people of Thailand Thursday, acknowledging the King's dedication to unifying the country.
"The Secretary-General expresses his hope that Thailand will continue to honor King Bhumibol's legacy of commitment to universal values and respect for human rights," a statement attributable for his spokesperson said.
President Barack Obama said the king was a close friend of the United States and a valued partner of many U.S. presidents, recalling a meeting with the King during a 2012 visit to Bangkok.
"His majesty leaves a legacy of care for the Thai people that will be cherished by future generations," a statement released by the White House read. "The American people and I stand with the people of Thailand as we mourn His Majesty the King's passing, and today we hold the Thai people in our thoughts and prayers."
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry joined President Obama in expressing his condolences to the Thai people, saying their King "will be long remembered and will be deeply missed".
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he remembered the King as a "highly gifted and gentle person," expressing his "deep sorrow" at his death.
King Bhumibol, also known as King Rama IX, died Thursday afternoon in a hospital in Bangkok at the age of 88.
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