PM coy on whether Manus raised with Trump

November 14, 2017

Private talks between Donald Trump and Malcolm Turnbull ran for more than 30 minutes.

Malcolm Turnbull had a half-hour rendezvous with Donald Trump at his presidential hotel suite in Manila on the last evening of his six day Asia tour.

Both leaders have been in the Philippines capital since Sunday for the East Asia summit which wraps up on Thursday.

Mr Turnbull and Mr Trump bonded with some one-on-one time, without officials in the room on Monday night in a meeting that went for more than 30 minutes.

They had been due to catch up at a formal bilateral meeting earlier on Monday, however at the last minute the schedule shifted and the pair had a three-way chat with Japan's Shinzo Abe.

It's unclear whether Mr Turnbull, at the evening meeting with Mr Trump, raised the prospects of speeding up the US refugee resettlement deal.

The stand off with hundreds of refugees at the mothballed Manus Island detention centre continues.

Mr Trump reluctantly agreed to resettle up to 1250 refugees but only 54 have gone to America so far.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had been hoping for a second conversation with Mr Turnbull, following her trip to Sydney a week ago, to express her "grave concerns" about the ongoing Manus Island saga and reiterate her country's offer to take 150 refugees.

It's understood, that's unlikely to happen.

On Tuesday, Mr Turnbull is expected to meet with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on the sidelines of the summit.

Mr Turnbull will also get together with leaders from the 15 other countries negotiating a China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership free trade pact for a first time meeting.

The deal includes the ten Association of Southeast Asian Nation countries as well as India, South Korea, Japan and Australia and NZ.

The prime minister is due home on Wednesday morning in time for the gay marriage postal survey result announcement.

He also travelled to Vietnam for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation leaders summit and visited Hong Kong.

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