Prince William tells Afghan refugees 'you couldn't be more welcome' to UK

1 December 2021, 23:22

Prince William met refugees in Leeds.
Prince William met refugees in Leeds. Picture: Alamy

By Emma Soteriou

Prince William has told Afghan refugees that they "couldn't be more welcome" to the UK, following the Taliban takeover.

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The royal visited a hotel in Leeds which has been housing refugees since the end of August.

Upon his arrival, he was greeted by cheers and applause before sitting down with two families who managed to escape Kabul in September.

Prince William thanked those who had risked their lives to work for the British Government during their time in Afghanistan.

He said: "The most important thing is that you are safe now. You have a bright future.

"You couldn't be more welcome.

"Thank you for all you have done for us."

Read more: Troops tell LBC they did 'everything we could' to help bring Afghan people to the UK

Read more: 'Some people won't get back' Defence Secretary chokes up over Afghanistan

Prince William met refugees in Leeds
Prince William met refugees in Leeds. Picture: Getty

Among the families was Hussain Saeedi Samangan, 38, who worked as a political secretary at the British Embassy in Kabul.

He told William he felt very welcome in Yorkshire and was optimistic of a "bright, exciting future" in the UK.

He was joined by his wife, Masooma, 31, who had been editor-in-chief of a newspaper in Kabul, and sons Daniel, 10, and Arian, one, who entertained the royal visitor with his antics.

William asked whether they thought the "new" Taliban would be a different regime.

Shaking his head, he said: "No. We know what the Taliban wants, we know they have not changed and that we couldn't trust them."

The prince also met families who had successfully relocated to the UK years before, including Omidullah Ahmadi, 32 - who had worked as a translator for the British military - and his wife, Santga, 26.

William said: "Everyone over here feels connected to you. There's a lot of love for you and your families.

"What you have had to give up and what you have achieved here. You are a shining example for those following you now."