‘Wales must be prepared to do its bit’: Calls for Welsh communities to welcome Afghan refugees
There have been calls for Wales to welcome Afghan refugees, after large parts of the country fell to the Taliban as the US and NATO withdraw their troops.
Wales’ First Minister earlier said that as a Nation of Sanctuary, Wales would “do everything we can to support evacuations from Afghanistan” and that he was working with the Home Office and councils to offer support to those fleeing the country.
Welsh councils have offered homes for at least 21 families after Welsh Local Government Association leader Andrew Morgan said they would “play their part”.
“If we all sign up to this, we’re talking less than a handful of families actually per local authority area, so the numbers are actually very, very small,” he said.
Jane Dodds, Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats and a previous leader of the children’s section of the Refugee Council, called on the Welsh Government to ensure it is prepared to play its part in welcoming fleeing Afghan refugees.
“While the power is ultimately reserved to Westminster, Wales must be prepared to do its bit and provide assistance to Afghan refugees fleeing the Taliban,” she said.
“Wales has a proud history of helping those in need and we should not shy away from it now. We must fulfil our moral duty and embrace those who are seeking safety and sanctuary in the UK, particularly children and their families.”
Welsh Labour MP Stephen Kinnock said the UK has a “moral duty” to protect those who assisted US and NATO forces during their time in Afghanistan.
“Those people really are at risk now and we’ve got to be able to do the right thing for them,” he told Good Morning Britain.
“That may well involve having conversations with the Taliban to ensure that those people are given safe passage. I think we have to be pragmatic about that.”
Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville Roberts said yesterday that the UK Government has a “practical and moral responsibility” to ensure British citizens and personnel, as well as Afghan nationals linked to the British/NATO mission in Afghanistan, are evacuated swiftly and safely.
“This must be done as quickly as possible and, if necessary, allow for the processing of visas and other documentation later once they are safe,” she said. “A quick and safe evacuation must be the priority above all else.”
The UK has so far sent approximately 900 troops to Afghanistan to help evacuate Afghans who helped NATO forces during the war, and British nationals.