Trump in 'worst call' with Turnbull on US-Australia refugee deal

By Carlos Gutierrez Feb 02, 2017 07:07 PM EST
US President Trump speaks with Australian Prime Minister Turnbull
US President Trump speaks with Australian Prime Minister Turnbull

A phone call between Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull  and US President Donald Trump related with the US-Australia refugee deal has taken place. Donald Trump called the conversation "the worst by far" of his calls with world leaders that day and he seems to be unhappy with the results.

Struck with the Obama administration, the deal would see up to 1,250 asylum seekers to Australia resettled in the US. Australia has refused to accept the refugees, most of whom are from Afghanistan, Iran and Iraq according to the BBC. Australia holds the refugees in offshore detention centres on the Pacific nations of Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

PM Turnbull was seeking clarification on the future of the refugee deal after Trump signed an executive order barring the entry into the US of refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries. The conversation had had to last an hour but was abruptly ended after 25 minutes by Trump. 

Refugees are being held on Nauru and Manus Island

Australia announced in November 2016 that the US had agreed to a one-off deal to resettle refugees currently being held on Nauru and Manus Island, in Papua New Guinea. The majority of the refugees held on the detention island by Australia have been there for more than three years.

A total of 1,254 people were being held in the two camps, 871 on Manus Island and 383 in Nauru, as of 30 November 2016, according to The Guardian. Official figures show that 80% of those held on Manus Island and Nauru have been found to be genuine refugees. 

The UN refugee agency, UNHCR, would oversee the deal and the "most vulnerable" would be prioritised. Turnbull was seeking assurances from Trump that the deal would be honoured but the US President said that accepting the refugees would be like accepting the next Boston bombers. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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