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Five-year-old Canadian orphan in Syrian camp set free, will come to Canada

Last Updated Oct 5, 2020 at 8:14 am MST

Minister of Foreign Affairs Francois-Phillipe Champagne speaks to media prior to the start of the Liberal Cabinet Retreat at the Fairmont Hotel in Winnipeg, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mike Sudoma

OTTAWA — A five-year-old Canadian girl stuck inside Syria after her family was killed in an airstrike is being allowed to leave the country. 

Foreign Affairs Minister François-Philippe Champagne says she will soon be reunited with her family in Canada.

The girl, known as Amira, was found on the side of the road last year and was taken to a refugee camp in a region of Syria controlled by Kurdish-led forces.

Efforts by family members in Toronto to get her out and back to Canada had been stymied for months, leading to a lawsuit being filed in July.

Her family argued the federal government was violating her rights by refusing to provide emergency travel documents, and by failing to make the necessary official requests of the regional Syrian government to get her repatriated.

The Liberal government has said that a lack of Canadian consular services in Syria made helping her very difficult. 

In his statement, Champagne thanks the military for its assistance in the matter and says the focus now is on protecting the child’s privacy and ensuring she gets the support she needs.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 5, 2020.

Stephanie Levitz, The Canadian Press