PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea, Oct. 5 (Xinhua) -- The Australian and Papua New Guinea (PNG) governments announced on Friday that the asylum processing center in PNG's Manus Island is set to be opened within weeks.
Australian Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said Australia and PNG have worked very closely to ensure that the center will be up and running soon.
"We've worked very closely together on ensuring the facility is ready soon, and I very much welcome your agreement and announcement that we can begin making the first transfers in the coming weeks," Bowen said at a joint press conference in Port Moresby on Friday.
PNG Prime Minister Peter O'Neill said that the processing center will start receiving boat arrivals within weeks.
"We are ready to take the first load of asylum seekers within the next few weeks," O'Neill said.
"The facilities have been prepared by the Australian Defense Force and are ready to take on asylum seekers as soon as possible, " he said.