PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA - Cambodian officials said Tuesday that they were reviewing the applications of four refugees who had agreed to a controversial Australian resettlement plan.
The Interior Ministry in Phnom Penh said three Iranians and one ethnic Rohingya from Myanmar were the first to apply to migrate to Cambodia from an Australian-run detention camp on the Pacific island of Nauru.
Cambodian Interior Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said officials must still review the cases before making a final decision.
"We will send the report to the government to see how the cases are decided. It is another step," he said.
Last week, officials said only a Rohingya man had applied for resettlement.
Cambodia signed an agreement with Australia last year to accept more than 1,000 refugees who are being detained by Australia on Nauru. The agreement included what has been described as a $30 million aid package for Cambodia.
Canberra has said the refugees will not be allowed to resettle in Australia under any circumstances. It is not clear how long the review process will take.
The Rohingya, a Muslim ethnic minority group from Myanmar’s western Rakhine state, have claimed oppression by the country’s Buddhist majority.
This report was produced in collaboration with the VOA Khmer service.