Canada and Australia talk migration

Malcolm Turnbull has discussed migration matters with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at APEC (AAP)

Australia and Canada's leaders have discussed migration on APEC's sidelines, as Canberra hunts for third countries to take refugees on Nauru and Manus Island.

Malcolm Turnbull has discussed migration matters with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, as Canberra continues to search for third countries to send refugees on Nauru and Manus Island.

The prime minister met Mr Trudeau for a bilateral meeting over breakfast on the final day of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC ) leaders summit in Lima, on Sunday (local time).

It's understood migration was among the topics covered along with economic ties, security and defence cooperation, counter-terrorism and youth mobility.

The exact nature of the migration discussion has not been made public.

The Australian government says it's in negotiations with a range of countries to accept the refugees in limbo, but has not named specific nations.

Canada has been globally lauded for its warm welcome of 34,696 Syrian refugees to its shores in the past 12 months.

Over the same time period Australia has resettled only half of its special intake of 12,000 Syrians fleeing Islamic State extremists.

Mr Turnbull had talks on Saturday with Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak and it's believed "irregular migration" was canvassed.

The meeting came in the wake of speculation that Australia was close to a deal with Kualar Lumpur to resettle refugees.

Labor is unimpressed with the prospect of a deal in the wake of the coalition blocking legislation for a Malaysia people swap deal in 2011.

Tony Abbott has since retrospectively expressed some regret that as opposition leader he hadn't allowed the Gillard government to pursue its mandate.

Under the arrangement 800 refugees that had arrived in Australia by boat were to be exchanged with 4000 verified refugees in Malaysia.

Mr Turnbull has played down claims of hypocrisy saying the most important thing was to achieve "durable" resettlement options rather than make political points.

Australia has recently reached a deal with the Obama administration to resettle some refugees in the US.

The details are yet to be finalised and it remains unclear whether President-elect Donald Trump would honour the deal.

Mr Turnbull was expected to discuss the matter further with Mr Obama during their bilateral meeting on Sunday afternoon.

US Homeland Security department officers are already in Australia and will be going to Nauru shortly to start assessments.

Papua New Guinea has announced the closure of the Manus Island detention centre but no time frame has been set yet.

Source AAP

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