O’Neill firm on Manus deal

Main Stories, National

The National, Tuesday August 6th, 2013


PRIME Minister Peter O’Neill says he is not making a turn on the Manus deal he signed recently with Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, despite pressure from critics.

He told reporters yesterday he had made his stance very clear at the University of PNG last week.

“I went to the university, I clearly addressed many of the issues the students raised,” he said.

“I thought that meeting at the main lecture theatre was an opportune time for me to explain some of the things that they wanted me to address. 

“What needs to be said? There is nothing I can change.

“The issues are very, very clear. 

“There is nobody who is coming to be processed in Manus as a citizen of our country, without following the laws of our country.

“Nobody will be resettled anywhere in Papua New Guinea until genuine refugees are established.

“They will be established and processed through the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

“You can see that all that we need to protect our national interests has been catered for.

“Let us see how it goes. 

“We have an opportunity to review it.

“This is not written into stone so we can’t change it.

“We will address it if we have problems along the way.

“I don’t mind participating in constructive debate, but 

we need to separate politics from what we need to do for the national interest of our country.

“I know the students are concerned about this issue.

“Their concerns have been noted will be dealt with in due process.”