August 17, 2013
And he says Australia will need to take back a share of them.
"There is no agreement that all genuine refugees will be settled in PNG," he said.
PNG would work with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to engage with other countries willing to take part in resettling those refugees, Mr O'Neill told Fairfax.
"That includes Australia, New Zealand and all the other countries who are signatories to the UN conventions on refugees."
Mr O'Neill said he believed Australia had an annual quota to settle about 20,000 refugees.
"Under that process, they will get some and New Zealand has indicated they would take some."
Mr Rudd has insisted there is "one simple principle" in his new regime - that all asylum seekers arriving by boat would be diverted to PNG and settled there if found to be genuine refugees.
Mr O'Neill derided federal opposition claims that refugees would seek to use PNG as a pathway to Australia.
"It is certainly an overreaction,'' he said.