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Australian minister to visit Sri Lanka amid asylum-seeker boat dispute

Published on Jul 6, 2014 7:11 PM
 
Australian Immigration Minister Scott Morrison will visit Colombo this week for talks on illegal immigration following international concern at his country's handling of Sri Lankan asylum-seekers. -- PHOTO: AFP

COLOMBO (AFP) - Australia's immigration minister will visit Colombo this week for talks on illegal immigration following international concern at his country's handling of Sri Lankan asylum-seekers, it was announced on Sunday.

Mr Scott Morrison is due to meet top officials from President Mahinda Rajapakse's government when he arrives on Wednesday, an official told AFP.

"He (Mr Morrison) will of course talk about illegal immigration and will also participate in a ceremony to formally hand over a patrol boat that Australia gifted us last year," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Satya Rodrigo.

It was expected to be used to patrol Sri Lankan waters and halt boats leaving the country with asylum-seekers bound for Australia.

 
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