Australia stopped sending asylum seekers in Papua New Guinea (PNG), declaring that their so-called “regional resettlement arrangement” ends on December 31.
PNG is one of two Pacific nations that Canberra has paid to jail asylum seekers and refugees attempting to enter Australia by boat.
“Australia’s strong border protection policies – including regional processing – have not changed. Anyone who attempts to enter Australia illegally by boat will be returned or sent to Nauru,” the agreement said.
“Australia and PNG have been longstanding partners and regional leaders in the fight against maritime people smuggling and look forward to continuing this close cooperation into the future post-finalization of the regional resettlement arrangement,” said in the agreement.
On Wednesday, Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said that anyone who attempts to enter Australia illegally by boat would be returned or sent to Nauru.
“Australia’s strong border protection policies… have not changed,” she said.
The 120 asylum seekers and refugees who stay in PNG will have the option of resettling there or being sent to Nauru for detention.
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