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Syrian girl blogger, 7, meets Erdogan at Ankara palace

A handout picture taken and released by the Turkish Presidential press office on December 21, 2016 shows Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) posing as he holds in his arms the seven-year-old Bana al-Abed (L), who tweeted from Aleppo on the attacks, at the Presidential Complex in Ankara. Seven-year-old Bana al-Abed, whose Twitter account has offered a tragic account of the war in Syria, was evacuated from the divided Syrian city of Aleppo on December 19, 2016 and was set to be brought into Turkey, Turkish officials and aid workers said. / AFP PHOTO / TURKISH PRESIDENTIAL PRESS OFFICE / KAYHAN OZER / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / Kayhan OZER/Turkish Presidential press office" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS

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.

Erdogan received Bana and her family at his palace, the state-run Anadolu agency said, publishing a picture of Erdogan hugging the girl.

A video published by the agency also showed a seated Erdogan holding Bana and an unidentified boy sitting on his knees, flanked by his wife Emine.

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 she would come to Turkey with her family. But it was not clear when she had crossed over.

For her 330,000 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.

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.

However it makes exceptions for special cases and the wounded.

–AFP