US-Australia refugee deal: Trump in ‘worst call’ with Turnbull

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Themorningbellbd.com desk, February 2: A phone call between US President Donald Trump and Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull has called into question a refugee resettlement deal.
The Washington Post reported Mr Trump called the conversation “the worst by far” of his calls with world leaders that day, and cut it short.
Mr Trump later tweeted that he would “study this dumb deal”.
Struck with the Obama administration, it would see up to 1,250 asylum seekers to Australia resettled in the US.
Australia has controversially refused to accept the refugees – most of whom are men from Iran, Afghanistan and Iraq – and instead holds them in offshore detention centres on the Pacific nations of Nauru and Papua New Guinea.
PM Turnbull had been seeking clarification on the future of the deal after Mr Trump last Friday signed an executive order temporarily barring the entry into the US of refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The phone call between Mr Trump and Mr Turnbull took place on Saturday, and was one of four the US president had with world leaders, including Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
The Washington Post quotes senior US officials, briefed on the call, as saying that the conversation should have lasted an hour but was abruptly ended after 25 minutes by Mr Trump.
Mr Turnbull was seeking assurances from Mr Trump that the deal would be honoured.
The US president reportedly said accepting the refugees would be like the US accepting “the next Boston bombers”, who were from the Caucasus region of Russia.
Source: Agencies