23 May 2014

PNG puts refugee onus on Australia

2:25 pm on 23 May 2014

Papua New Guinea's Foreign Minister says if asylum seekers processed on Manus and found to be refugees don't want to resettle in PNG, then the onus will be on Australia to resettle them.

The comment comes after the first determinations on refugee status have been made for asylum seekers held on Manus.

Eleven have had their refugee claims recognised while 15 have been refused.

It is yet to be confirmed where the refugees will be settled or if those rejected will appeal against the decision.

The minister, Rimbink Pato, says the government is in the process of assessing where the refugees should be settled.

"Those who are determined as genuine refugees, they should settle in Papua New Guinea. But obviously, if it is their decision not to settle in PNG, then we don't have a choice but we will have to liaise with the Australian government as to where in which other country they should resettle. Probably that'll be a matter for the UN systems."

Rimbink Pato

There are still about 1,300 asylum seekers on Manus