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Take back non-refugees, PM tells nations

AAP logoAAP 20/09/2016 Jennifer Rajca

Malcolm Turnbull is putting pressure on countries to accept their own people not deemed to be refugees, as Julie Bishop continues negotiations with Iran.

Ahead of attending President Barack Obama's invite-only summit on refugees on the sidelines of the United Nations, Mr Turnbull said Australia is always looking for resettlement opportunities.

"It is very important nations accept back whether on a voluntary or involuntarily basis their citizens who have been denied refugee status," he told reporters on Tuesday (local time).

"It is important if there is going to be the cooperative action to end the scourge of people smuggling ... then there are a number of measures which have to be undertaken, one of them is to be prepared to accept the return of a nation's own citizens."

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said she is in contact with her Iranian counterpart over the "long-running discussion".

"The simple fact is they are Iranians who have not been found to be refugees," the foreign minister said. "They must go back to Iran."

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