17 Aug 2013

Vanuatu leader suggests Australia should solve asylum issue

4:50 am on 17 August 2013

Vanuatu says the solution to Australia's asylum seeker problem may lie in Australia and not the Pacific.

Vanuatu's prime minister, Moana Carcasses, has confirmed that he is considering an approach to take asylum seekers as Canberra's policy to send them abroad, although he did not confirm who had approached him.

He says as a Christian country, Vanuatu has a duty to help those less fortunate, but he would need to consult with the people, especially chiefs and landowners.

Mr Carcasses says the solution could also be with Australia, and the Pacific shouldn't be left with the problem.

"It is a problem. I don't want to be in the shoes of the prime minister of Australia to fix that but we don't want to be also, the Pacific to be used as the dump area for that. Australia is a big country, you have a lot of space. Maybe the solution is there. I don't know."

Vanuatu's prime minister, Moana Carcasses