POLITICS

Peter Dutton Is 'Confident' Trump Will Respect The U.S Refugee Swap Deal

The Immigration Minister said Australia's relationship with the U.S spans administrations.

14/11/2016 6:18 PM AEDT | Updated 14/11/2016 8:33 PM AEDT
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Dutton said he and Turnbull have worked through all scenarios, including a Trump administration.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton appears confident President-elect Donald Trump will honour Australia's refugee resettlement deal with the United States.

On Monday night, Dutton said the Federal Government "will work with the incoming administration" on the refugee deal and "respect President-elect Trump."

"We will work within the leadership of his administration because we think this issue is important to both sides," Dutton told Sky News.

"We think the Trump administration will respect the fact that this is a very important issue to the Australian people and to the Australian Government.

"We are confident that we can work with a Trump administration."

On Sunday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced a one-off deal with the U.S. to take "genuine" refugees from Australia's offshore processing centres on Manus Island and Nauru.

Turnbull confirmed the deal was struck earlier this year when Australia announced it would take an unknown number of refugees from Central America.

The Prime Minister remained hesitant to give a definitive number or time frame for the refugee resettlement, as U.S. officials will visit Australia and the offshore processing centres in the next few days.

On Monday, Turnbull said he'd like the refugee resettlement to "proceed in a speedy manner".

Speaking to Leigh Sales on The 7:30 Report, the Prime Minister highlighted the U.S. will be including "genuine" refugees from Nauru and Manus in the country's "overall quota" which has already been agreed upon.

"It's important to remember that the United States is not taking any more refugees here."

Turnbull opened up about his "frank" phone call with President-elect Trump which lasted for about "10 to 15 minutes."

"We discussed America's role in the world, we discussed America's build-up of its military capacity, its capabilities, that he has proposed, and promised in his campaign," Turnbull told the program.

"We talked about what we're doing with our big naval ship building campaign and we talked about the global economy. But above all, we talked about our region".

On The Project Dutton confirmed the Federal Government has increased the amount of naval ships in the waters to block people smugglers and has spent months planning before the announcement.

"We pre-positioned additional naval assets so we got more boats in the region, we got more planes doing surveillance, we've got assets working in foreign countries. There are about 16 government agencies including our intelligence agencies that form part of Operation Sovereign Borders," Dutton told the program.

The Immigration Minister said the Federal Government have an arrangement with the UNHCR, despite the UNHCR releasing a statement earlier on Monday saying they are currently not assessing people.

"They're front and centre to the arrangement. That's a requirement from the US as well," Dutton said.

"I met with the [UNHCR] High Commissioner only a few months ago. I have had regular meetings with their regional representative in Canberra. And they are a party to this arrangement. They'll look at the cases and they have within working with both Nauru and the Papua New Guinea governments."

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