AUSTRALIA and Papua New Guinea have yet to agree on who will be responsible for the inmates on Manus Island whom, ultimately, nobody wants.
At a joint press conference in Port Moresby today, Malcolm Turnbull and Peter O'Neill indicated that those asylum seekers refused refugee classification or rejected for resettlement by the United States could languish indefinitely.
There are about 840 people in the detention centre, which is earmarked for closure in October this year. Of these, about 15 have agreed to resettle in PNG.
The United States is still undertaking "extreme vetting" of people as part of the resettlement deal with Australia. About 160 asylum seekers have not been granted refugee status. They are being pressed to go home, which they refuse to do.
Mr O'Neill said those who are found to be refugees but are rejected by the US would be free to settle in his country, but he could not make them.
"We can't force people in a resettlement exercise when they are not able to accept our offer," he said, adding he would be happy to help them resettle in another third country.
Asked what would happen to those rejected by the United States, Mr O'Neill said "we will continue to manage that jointly over the course of negotiations."
Mr Turnbull would also not be drawn, saying the process with the US was still underway.
"Let's take this one step at a time," he said.