SYDNEY, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 17th Augst,2016) - Australia agreed Wednesday to close a camp for asylum-seekers on Papua New Guinea, one of two controversial Pacific island centres attracting growing criticism, but said none of the hundreds of men there now would be resettled on its soil. Canberra's policy of sending asylum-seekers who arrive by boat to outposts on Papua New Guinea and the tiny Pacific state of Nauru was thrown into turmoil in April when a PNG court ordered the Manus Island centre closed.
"Both Papua New Guinea and Australia are in agreement that the centre is to be closed," PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said in a statement following talks with Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton in Port Moresby. "It is important that this process is not rushed but carried out in a careful manner." Canberra has been under pressure to shut the Australian-funded Manus facility, which as at June 30 held 854 men, following a PNG Supreme Court ruling declaring that holding people there was unconstitutional and illegal.