Turnbull Confident Trump Will Honor Refugee Deal With Australia

  • Australian PM set to talk by phone with new U.S. president
  • Obama agreed to resettle asylum seekers on Manus, Nauru

Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he’s looking forward to talks this weekend with President Donald Trump and is confident the new U.S. administration will uphold an agreement to resettle asylum seekers held on Pacific island camps.

About 1,600 asylum seekers who tried to reach Australia by boat are being detained on Manus Island and Nauru, with many potentially eligible to be resettled in the U.S. under an agreement reached last year with the Obama administration.

Malcolm Turnbull

Photographer: Mark Graham/Bloomberg

Trump on Friday signed an executive order indefinitely banning admission of people fleeing Syria, temporarily freezing the entry of other refugees and prohibiting entry by people from seven majority-Muslim nations for 90 days.

“We are very confident and satisfied that the arrangement, the existing arrangements will continue,” Turnbull told reporters Saturday. “It is quite clear that the administration has set out in the order the ability to deal with existing arrangements such as the one that we have.”

Turnbull’s phone hook-up with the Oval Office on Saturday afternoon Washington time is the last in a string of calls Trump is set to make to leaders that day including Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande.

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