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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said it would have been "morally unacceptable" to deny the Afghan interpreters the option of coming to Britain:
Speaking to The Times (£) Afghan interpreter Mohammad Rafi Hottak welcomed the Government's decision, adding it would save lives.
Around 600 Afghan interpreters are to be offered the chance to settle in Britain after an apparent coalition rethink.
About half the staff working with UK forces are expected to be granted visas in recognition of risks to their personal safety.
The proposals could see all interpreters who have been in the job more than 12 months and put themselves in physical danger offered a resettlement package.
They will need to have worked between December 2012 and December 2014, when troops are due to leave, to be eligible.
They could be offered a five-year visa for themselves and their family, with help relocating and finding accommodation and work in the UK.
The move comes despite David Cameron previously suggesting most Afghan interpreters should stay on in their country to help rebuild it after years of conflict.
But Liberal Democrats pushed for a similar approach to that taken with Iraqi interpreters