Tuvalu, small island country located in the western Pacific Ocean. Honolulu, Hawaii lies about 4,200 km (about 2,600 mi) to the northeast and Brisbane, on Australia's eastern coast, lies about 3,400 km (about 2,100 mi) to the southwest. Tuvalu's nearest neighbors are the Fiji Islands, about 1,050 km (about 650 mi) to the south, and Samoa (formerly Western Samoa), about the same distance to the southeast. Formerly known as the Ellice Islands, Tuvalu was part of the British Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony (GEIC) until it separated from the Gilberts (now Kiribati) in 1975 and achieved independence in 1978. It is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, an association of nations that includes the United Kingdom and a number of its former dependencies. The atoll of Funafuti is the capital of Tuvalu.
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