Syrian girl blogger, 7, meets Erdogan after evacuation

Ankara: Seven-year-old Bana al-Abed, whose Twitter account gave a tragic description of the bombing of Aleppo in Syria, on Wednesday met Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan at his palace in Ankara after her evacuation from the city.
Erdogan hugged the girl emotionally and also held Bana and her brother as they sat on his knees flanked by the president’s wife Emine.
“Very happy to meet with Mr Erdogan,” Bana wrote on a tweet above a picture of her nestling up to the cheek of the smiling Erdogan.
The young Syrian girl was one of thousands of people evacuated from once rebel-held areas of Aleppo in the last days under a deal brokered by Turkey and Russia. She was evacuated on Monday and Turkish officials promised then she would come to Turkey with her family. But it was not clear when she had crossed over.
“Thank you for the help in saving the children of Aleppo from the war. I love you very much,” Bana told Erdogan according to the presidency.
For her 330,000 online followers, Bana is a symbol of the tragedy unfolding in Syria, although Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime has slammed her and her mother’s nearly daily tweets as propaganda.
Her mother Fatemah, who runs the account @AlabedBana, was also in attendance on Tuesday, the Turkish presidency said. “I was pleased to host @AlabedBana and her family at the Presidential Complex today,” Erdogan said in his own tweet.
Turkey is hosting some 2.7 million refugees from the Syria conflict but has made clear it now prefers to look after those recently displaced, who are not injured, on the Syrian side of the border. — AFP