‘Embassy children’ to be reunited with Dutch mother

Two children who sought refuge in the Dutch embassy in Damascus after running away from their Syrian father, are to be allowed to return home to their mother in the Netherlands, the Volkskrant reports today.

The news comes after months of political negotiations between the Netherlands and Syria. Yesterday Dutch foreign minister Ben Bot discussed the issue during his visit to Damascus.
According to the paper, these talks were successful and it is ‘only a matter of weeks’ before the children can be reunited with their mother Janneke Schoonhoven in Groningen.
The 13-year old Annar and his 11-year-old sister Sara were kidnapped by their father in 2004 following their parents divorce. Although custody was granted to the mother, under Syrian law, this right is with the father. The children have been in the embassy since June.

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