An official says Cambodia has accepted the first four people under the agreement it made with Australia nine months ago to take in asylum-seekers rejected for residency there.

Prime Minister Hun Sen signed an endorsement letter Wednesday and the two countries are now discussing when the four will arrive in Cambodia, said Gen. Khieu Sopheak, spokesman of Cambodia's Interior Ministry.

Two are Iranian men, one is an Iranian woman and another is a Rohingya man. They are the only ones so far to apply for Cambodian residency, the general said.

As part of its efforts to deter boats of asylum-seekers, Australia made the agreement with Cambodia last September despite critics worrying that Cambodia was too impoverished and its poor human rights record would put them at risk.