December 21, 2016 / 1:35 PM / 10 months ago

Syrian girl, 7, who tweeted from Aleppo meets Turkey's Erdogan

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - A seven-year-old Syrian girl who drew global attention with her Twitter updates from besieged Aleppo met Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan at his palace in Ankara on Wednesday.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, accompanied by his wife Emine Erdogan, meets with Syrian girl Bana Alabed, known as Aleppo's tweeting girl, and her family at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, December 21, 2016. Kayhan Ozer/Presidential Palace/Handout via REUTERS

Photographs released on Erdogan’s official Twitter account showed the president hugging Bana Alabed as she sat on his lap.

Bana and her mother Fatemah were evacuated safely along with 25,000 other people from the rebel-held eastern part of Aleppo this week. Turkey has supported rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“I was pleased to host @AlabedBana and her family at the Presidential Complex today. Turkey will always stand with the people of Syria,” Erdogan said on his official Twitter account.

Helped by her mother, who manages the @AlabedBana account, Bana Alabed has uploaded pictures and videos of life during the nearly six-year-old Syrian war, gaining around 352,000 followers on the micro-blogging site since September.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said when Bana and her mother were evacuated from Aleppo that she would be brought to Turkey with her family.

The eventual departure of thousands left in Aleppo’s insurgent zone will hand full control of the city to Assad, the biggest prize of the nearly six-year-old civil war.

Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by David Dolan and Mark Heinrich

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