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Erdoğan hosts Aleppo child Bana as Turkey aligns with Russia on Syria

A handout picture taken and released by the Turkish Presidential press office on December 21, 2016 shows Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (C) and his wife Emine Erdogan (2nd R) posing with the seven-year-old Bana al-Abed (3rd L), who tweeted from Aleppo on the attacks, and her family, 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.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday hosted a 7-year-old Syrian girl, Bana al-Abed, whose mother ran a Twitter account in her name about life in besieged eastern Aleppo, at the same time that Turkey’s Syria policy was becoming more aligned with that of Russia, a staunch supporter of the Bashar al-Assad government.

Bana and her family were evacuated along with other civilians from eastern Aleppo, which had been besieged by Assad forces backed by Russian air raids.

Bana, her parents and two younger siblings were hosted at the Presidential Palace in Ankara on Wednesday and photographed with Erdoğan

Both Bana and Erdoğan tweeted photos of Bana and one of her brothers sitting on his lap, saying that “Turkey will always stand with the people of Syria.”

Bana’s mother Fatemah ran the Twitter account on her daughter’s behalf, attracting 354,000 followers

During a meeting in Moscow on Tuesday that took place following the assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey by a Turkish police officer on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia, Turkey and Iran agree that the number one priority in Syria is not regime change, but suppressing the terrorist threat.

Accordingly, the three countries are ready to work on an agreement between the Syrian government and the opposition and become the guarantors of such a deal.

Likewise, the three counties expressed determination on fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and the Al Nusra Front, both of which have been designated terrorist organizations.

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