‘World of difference’ between Syrians to be resettled in Australia and those on Manus Island and Nauru: Tony Abbott

Prime Minister Tony Abbott met with PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill in Port Moresby Papua New Guinea before attending the Pacific Islands Forum on Thursday. Photo: Andrew Meares Prime Minister Tony Abbott (centre) at the Pacific Island Leaders Forum. Photo: Andrew Meares
Nanjing Night Net

Prime Minister Tony Abbott after the leaders photo for the Pacific Islands Forum in Port Moresby, PNG. Photo: Andrew Meares

Syrian refugees in Australia – where will they go?Australia to extend bombing raids deep into SyriaComment: At last, PM’s actions match words  

PORT MORESBY. Tony Abbott has declared there is a “world of difference” between refugees from Syria and Iraq who will now be resettled in Australia and those from the same countries and have been languishing in detention for more than two years in Papua New Guinea and on Nauru.

The Prime Minister said he was very encouraged by the “big-hearted, generous response” of the Australian people to the government’s decision to accept 12,000 refugees from the Syrian conflict.

While these people had sought refuge near Syria’s borders, Mr Abbott said those on PNG’s Manus Island and in detention on Nauru had “done a deal with people smugglers to go way beyond the country of first asylum”.

“We will never ever do anything that encourages the evil trade of people smuggling and all of those who have come to Australia by boat are here as a result of people smuggling,” he said.

Refugee advocates argue that asylum seekers should not be treated according to the way they fled persecution and that the international protection system would break down if all countries adopted the Australian approach.

Mr Abbott was speaking after meeting with PNG Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and thanking him for hosting the detention centre on Manus Island, where nearly 1000 asylum seekers remain in detention.

He told Mr O’Neill Australia was “very grateful” for PNG’s assistance in “processing illegal boat arrivals”.

Federal and state officials would meet early next week to discuss the mechanics of the resettlement of the 12,000 refugees, Mr Abbott said.

The Prime Minister returns from Port Moresby to Canberra on Thursday night and will meet community leaders and service providers on Friday to discuss “exactly what we need to do to ensure that people coming to Australia from the conflict zone can swiftly and effectively integrate into our country”.

Mr Abbott promised that Australia would cooperate with PNG authorities in the investigation of rape allegations against three Australians who left Manus island after the alleged incident took place last month.

Mr O’Neill has backed the call by PNG police for the alleged offenders to be brought back to face questioning.

“There are due processes of law and they must always be followed but crime is crime is crime,” Mr Abbott said.

“Where there are credible allegations, they must be investigated. Where there is strong evidence, it should be prosecuted. Where people have done wrong thing, they should be convicted and punished.”

Follow us on Twitter

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

Comments are closed.