UK's Prince William thanks Poland for nation's help for Ukraine

Britain's Prince William, Prince of Wales, attends a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument dedicated to Polish soldiers who lost their lives in conflict, in Warsaw, Poland, March 23, 2023. REUTERS/Toby Melville

WARSAW (Reuters) - Britain's Prince William met the Polish president in Warsaw on Thursday, on the second day of a visit to the country to thank troops and local people for their support for Ukraine.

Before meeting President Andrzej Duda, the heir-to-the throne laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a monument dedicated to Polish soldiers who lost their lives in conflict.

The prince's late grandparents, Queen Elizabeth and her husband Prince Philip, also laid a wreath there during their state visit in 1996.

The president's office said on Twitter that Duda spoke with Prince William about humanitarian aid for Ukraine. "The Prince of Wales thanked the Poles for their generosity and hospitality," Duda's office said.

The largest country on NATO's eastern flank is currently home to over a million refugees from neighbouring Ukraine, and has been widely praised for its help for those fleeing the conflict.

William was scheduled to finish his trip by visiting a food hall in Warsaw, where he will speak with a group of young refugees who have found work or are continuing their studies in Poland.

The royal's trip, which had not been publicised in advance, is taking place under tight security. It started on Wednesday in Rzeszow, southeastern Poland, where Prince William met the country's Defence Minister, Mariusz Blaszczak, and spoke to members of the Polish defence force and British troops based there.

Later on Wednesday he visited an office block in Warsaw which had been converted into an accommodation centre housing about 300 Ukrainian women and children Ukrainians who have fled the war.

Accompanied by Warsaw Mayor Rafal Trzaskowski, the Prince of Wales spoke with residents of the centre and even took part in a game of table tennis.

(Reporting by Toby Melville, writing by Alan Charlish, Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

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