SYDNEY - Australia's prime minister said on Monday resettlement to the United States of many of the 1,200 asylum seekers held in detention camps on Papua New Guinea and the Pacific island of Nauru will begin after President-elect Donald Trump's inauguration in January.
Whether Trump honours the deal Australia reached with the outgoing Obama administration, and announced earlier this month, will provide an early test of Trump's anti-immigration stance.
Campaigning for the presidency, Trump had started by advocating a blanket ban on Muslims entering the United States, but later adjusted his stance to propose that the ban should apply to people from nations that had been "compromised by terrorism".
Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Sunday that the United States had agreed to take a "substantial" number of those held on Manus Island and Nauru. Many of them are Muslims who have fled conflicts in Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Under Australia's tough border security laws, asylum seekers intercepted trying to reach the country by boat are sent for processing at the camps on Papua New Guinea's Manus island and Nauru.