Asylum seekers who try to enter by boat have been dealt another blow after Australia struck a deal for the ongoing use of detention centres in Nauru.

Asylum seekers who try to enter Australia by boat will continue to be turned away and sent to Nauru for offshore processing.

The Australian and Nauruan Governments signed a memorandum of understanding on Friday to develop an “enduring regional processing capability” in Nauru.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews welcomed the agreement, saying it would further policies created under Operation Sovereign Borders.

“Australia’s strong and successful border protection policies under Operation Sovereign Borders remain and there is zero chance of settlement in Australia for anyone who arrives illegally by boat,” Ms Andrews said.

“Anyone who attempts an illegal maritime journey to Australia will be turned back, or taken to Nauru for processing.

“They will never settle in Australia.”

Nauru began offshore processing for asylum seekers attempting to find refuge in Australia in 2012.
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Asylum seekers were locked inside the Nauru Processing Centre until October 2015.

The detention facility has since become an “open centre” giving detainees more freedom of movement throughout the island.

Australia has been heavily criticised by the UN and human rights groups for the use of offshore detention.

Nauru President Lionel Aingimea said the new memorandum of understanding created an “enduring form” of offshore processing for Australia.

“Nauru has worked together with Australia to ensure that those who are successful in their asylum applications are settled in third countries and not in Australia,” he said.

“This takes the regional processing to a new milestone.”

Current government policy states that any asylum seeker who tries to reach Australia by boat will never be settled in Australia, even if they are assessed as genuine refugees.