17 Aug 2013

PNG revisits asylum seeker deal with Canberra

10:16 am on 17 August 2013

Papua New Guinea has denied two key elements of Australia's new asylum seeker policy - that PNG will settle those deemed to be refugees and that none will end up in Australia.

The PNG Prime Minister, Peter O'Neill, has told Fairfax Media he has not agreed to settle all asylum seekers who are found to be refugees after processing on Manus Island.

And he says Australia will need to take back a share of them.

The Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, has insisted there is one simple principle in his new regime - that all asylum seekers arriving by boat would be diverted to PNG and settled there if found to be genuine refugees.

Since Australia changed its policy last month, Nauru has reportedly also agreed to accommodate Canberra's asylum seekers if they are deemed to be refugees.

The Nauru opposition says it is unclear what the government has signed up to.