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Australia asks impoverished Cambodia to take some asylum seekers

Published on Feb 22, 2014 4:54 PM
 
Asylum seekers, who were turned back by Australia, sit in an immigration holding area at a hotel in Kupang, Jan 28, 2014. Australia asked Cambodia, one of Asia's poorest countries, on Saturday, Feb 22, 2014, to take in asylum seekers detained while trying to reach the Australian coast and Cambodia said it would think about it. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

PHNOM PENH (REUTERS) - Australia asked Cambodia, one of Asia's poorest countries, on Saturday to take in asylum seekers detained while trying to reach the Australian coast and Cambodia said it would think about it.

Australia's government came to power last year partly because of a tough stance on asylum seekers arriving from Indonesia with Prime Minister Tony Abbott promising to "stop the boats".

Australia already has offshore detention centres in the impoverished South Pacific nations of Papua New Guinea and Nauru for asylum seekers it intercepts, often in rickety boats.

On Saturday, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop asked Prime Minister Hun Sen if Cambodia, which in the 1970s and 1980s saw a huge exodus of refugees fleeing war and starvation, could also house some migrants.

 
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