Turnbull Declines New Zealand's Refugee Offer to Focus on U.S.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he has turned down an offer by his New Zealand counterpart to take 150 refugees from Australia’s offshore detention camps, opting to concentrate on its pending deal with the U.S.

“This offer from New Zealand has been available for some time,” Turnbull said Saturday in Queenstown, New Zealand. “It is one we appreciate but our focus is on completing the arrangements with the United States.”

U.S. President Donald Trump earlier this month criticized the plan Australia signed with the Obama administration to send more than 1,000 refugees to the U.S. for resettlement. Trump in a late-night tweet said he would study the “dumb deal.”

Prime Minister Bill English brought up New Zealand’s longstanding proposal to take in refugees during a visit by Turnbull.

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