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PM plays down US refugee deal concerns

AAP logoAAP 4/12/2016 Rashida Yosufzai

The Turnbull government is confident its refugee resettlement deal with the United States will hold up despite fresh fears Donald Trump could scuttle it.

White House deputy spokesman Eric Schultz was quizzed about the agreement to take in asylum seekers from Manus Island and Nauru and security concerns about the group.

He said the deal would be dealt with "one president at a time".

"The commander-in-chief, this president, sets the policies," he said.

"The president-elect, Donald Trump, will set the policies once he takes the oath of office."

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull played down concerns about the deal on Sunday.

"It's a very good arrangement and we are confident that we'll continue through the change of administration," he told reporters in Sydney.

Mr Trump recently vowed to stop the flow of Middle East refugees to America "dead cold flat".

At a 50-minute rally before a crowd of supporters in Cincinnati last week, the US president-elect linked Monday's violent rampage by Somalian immigrant Abdul Razak Ali Artan at Ohio State University to refugee programs "stupidly created by our very stupid politicians".

Mr Trump, who moves into the White House in 48 days, said he will "suspend immigration from regions where it cannot be safely processed".

The more than 2000 refugees in detention facilities on Nauru and Manus Island are from countries including Somalia, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sudan and Sri Lanka.

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