Seven-year-old Bana Alabed who tweeted Aleppo’s horrors meets with President Recep Erdogan in Turkey

Turkish President previously offered the little girl and her family asylum in his country if they made it out of war-torn Syrian city 

Wednesday 21 December 2016 14:18
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Seven year old Bana Alabed who tweeted the horrors of Aleppo meets with President Recep Erdogan

The seven-year-old Syrian girl who tweeted throughout the siege of Aleppo about her fear of the bombing and wish to go to school has met with Turkish President Recep Erdogan at his palace in Ankara.

“Thank you for supporting the children of Aleppo and help us to get out from war,” she says in English in a video posted by the cabinet office. The President hugs Bana and her brother as his wife Emine Erdogan looks on, smiling.

Bana is one of thousands of people who have been evacuated from the last rebel pockets of Aleppo in the last week under an amnesty deal brokered by Turkey and Russia. Her Twitter account has gained her followers and supporters all over the world - as well as critics such as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who said her posts are “terrorist propaganda.”

The seven-year-old's English-speaking mother Fatemeh had appealed directly to several world leaders, including Mr Erdogan and his Foreign Minister, Mevlet Cavasoglu, to help bring an end to the air strikes on rebel-held parts of the city.

Turkish officials had previously promised that Bana, her mother and father and two younger brothers could resettle in Turkey, but it was not clear they had left Syria until Turkish news agency Anadolu posted photos of the meeting on Wednesday.

Turkey is home to more than 2.7 million Syrians who have fled the almost six-year-long conflict in the neighbouring country, but recent restrictions have made it harder for Syrians to settle there.

Mr Erdogan, who along with Gulf allies and the US currently gives financial and logistic support to Syria’s rebels, has signalled that Turkish policy towards the Syrian government has softened somewhat, and Mr Assad’s removal from office is longer top of the Turkish agenda.

Diplomats from Ankara and Tehran met with their Russian counterparts in Moscow on Tuesday to draw up a document they dubbed the ‘Moscow Declaration’, charting how to get peace talks on the complex war back on track. Representatives from the US and UN were not involved.

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