'Abducted' Dutch children to return home
13 December 2006, AMSTERDAM — The two Dutch children currently staying at the Dutch embassy in Damascus might be able to return to the Netherlands before the end of this year, Foreign Minister Ben Bot said.
13 December 2006
AMSTERDAM — The two Dutch children currently staying at the Dutch embassy in Damascus might be able to return to the Netherlands before the end of this year, Foreign Minister Ben Bot said.
Bot met with Syrian authorities — including President Bashar al-Assad — on Tuesday to discuss the situation of the two children
Both the Syrian president and Syria's foreign and social affairs ministers told Bot that the children could return to the Netherlands as quickly as possible.
A spokesman for Bot said only formalities on the Dutch side still need to be arranged, but stressed that no definite date could be given for the return of the children.
The children Sara and Ammar have been staying at the Dutch embassy in the Syrian capital of Damascus since the end of June after being taken to the country by their father.
The children have a Dutch mother, who has custody of the children. But their Syrian father took them to his home country and wants them to stay there. Syrian law is in his favour.
But the children fled to the Dutch embassy in June. They are being cared for there and are undergoing education.
Officials with the Dutch Foreign Ministry and the Syrian government have been locked in intense talks in recent months about the issue. Bot said he is satisfied with the results of his visit.
Bot also discussed the political situation in the Mid-East during his brief visit.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news