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Afghans get official meeting after night outdoors

December 23, 2013

MONS, Belgium (AP) — Scores of Afghan asylum seekers worried about their possible expulsion have won a promised meeting with Belgium’s prime minister after spending a night in the cold.

The Afghans, who arrived on foot in Mons over the weekend, said at first they wouldn’t leave without seeing Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo.

But acting mayor Nicholas Marti told reporters he persuaded the some 150 Afghans to leave Monday afternoon after arranging an appointment for them Tuesday in Brussels, Belgium’s capital, with Maggie de Block, state secretary for migration and asylum policy. The meeting is also supposed to be attended by the prime minister, Marti said.

A spokesman for the Afghans said they are afraid to return to their homeland and want the expulsions to cease.

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