PNG will not let all genuine refugees settle there

ASYLUM seekers sent to Manus Island thought they were to be settled at Papua New Guinea, but the PNG Government may have other ideas.

Under a deal struck with the former Labor Government, PNG agreed to process and resettle asylum seekers attempting to reach Australia by boat.

But during a press conference on Friday with PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill and Australian PM Tony Abbott, Mr O'Neill said not all "genuine" refugees would be settled in his country.

Mr O'Neill said "economic refugees" would be repatriated but when asked if all the others would go to PNG, he said no.

He said PNG would take "as much as we can", but expected other countries in the Pacific to do their fair share.

"We will try and extend their participation, many of them are signatories to that same UN (Human Rights) Convention," he said.

"We expect everybody to carry the same burden as we do."

When Mr Abbott was asked if there was any word from other countries wishing to take on refugees who attempted to reach Australia, he responded only by thanking PNG for its help.

Under the Federal Government's Operation Sovereign Borders, any refugee attempting to seek asylum in Australia by boat will either be sent to their home country or resettled elsewhere.


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