21 Mar 2014

Australian PM gets assurances from PNG over Manus facility

7:12 pm on 21 March 2014

Australia's Prime Minister Tony Abbott has received assurances from his Papua New Guinea counterpart on commitment to the Manus Island asylum seeker centre.

In PNG for his first official visit, Mr Abbott's bilateral discussions with PNG's Peter O'Neill have focussed on the deal struck between the two countries under which so-called boat people reaching Australia would be processed on Manus.

Tony Abbott has sought commitment from Peter O'Neill that PNG will expedite the resettlement of asylum seekers found to be genuine refugees.

Mr ONeill says PNG will resettle some of the refugees, but has ruled out taking on all of them as announced previously by Australia's former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

The two leaders have also discussed further alignment of Australia's aid programme with the development aims of the PNG government, and signed off on a new economic co-operation treaty which Peter O'Neill says will be the "cornerstone" of business and trade relations between the two countries