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Australia in talks with Philippines to resettle refugees

An Indonesian policeman stands next to migrants, rescued in the waters off Java island, at an immigration office in Sukabumi on September 23, 2015 after their boat ran out of fuel as they tried to reach AustraliaAustralia said Friday it is in talks with the Philippines to send refugees there, but refused to confirm reports of a Aus$150 million (US$109 million) deal to expand its controversial resettlement policy. Under Australia’s hardline policy to stop asylum-seeker boats reaching its shores, those arriving by sea are denied resettlement in Australia, even if found to be genuine refugees. A front-page report in The Daily Telegraph said Foreign Minister Julie Bishop had agreed the deal with her Philippines counterpart in New York and that it was awaiting sign-off by President Benigno Aquino.

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