US will honour refugee deal with Australia, Vice President Mike Pence confirms

 smh.com.au  4/22/2017 2:46:25 AM 

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US Vice President Mike Pence has reaffirmed the Trump administration will resettle refugees in limbo on Nauru and Manus Island.

President Donald Trump blasted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over the settlement plan during their now-notorious phone call shortly after his inauguration in January.

Mr Pence reassured Mr Turnbull during their bilateral meeting the US intends to honour the agreement, struck with the former Obama administration

"It doesn't mean we admire the agreement," he told reporters in Sydney on Saturday.

He said the process for fulfilling the agreement had been initiated, subject to the results of vetting processes that now apply to all refugees in the US.

US Homeland Security officials have been on Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea to do fingerprinting and security interviews with refugees in the past few weeks.

"The decision to go forward can rightly be seen as a reflection of the enormous importance of the historic alliance between the United States and Australia," Mr Pence said.

Mr Turnbull thanked him for the commitment and said it spoke volumes of the integrity of Mr Trump.

Both men declined to put a number on how many refugees would be resettled under the plan.

More to come. 

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