The US will take in refugees from immigrant centres managed by the Australian government in Nauru and Papua New Guinea, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced on Sunday.
It remains unknown how many refugees the US will accept. The centres are believed to hold more than a thousand people from countries such as Iraq, Syria and Somalia, Efe news reported.
“I can now confirm that the government has now reached a further third-party resettlement arrangement. The agreement is with the US,” Turnbull told a press conference.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry also announced the agreement from New Zealand’s Wellington where he is on an official visit.
Since 2012 Australia has been using the centres at Manus Island and Nauru to process asylum applications of immigrants, especially those intercepted in high seas while trying to reach the Australian coasts.
The UN and other human rights groups have criticized these centres calling the conditions in which the detainees live as “inhuman”.