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Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

Syrian baby Justin Trudeau meets Canada's prime minister

The two-month-old boy is the son of Syrian refugees who have found a home in Canada

Justin Trudeau became prime minister in November 2015. Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press via AP
Justin Trudeau became prime minister in November 2015. Jeff McIntosh / The Canadian Press via AP

Politicians holding babies has become a cliche, but few have held youngsters named after them.

The Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau met the two-month-old son of Syrian refugees, who named their child after Mr Trudeau as a thank you for giving them a home in Canada.

The boy, whose full name is Justin Trudeau Adam Bilan, was born in May in Calgary, Alberta.

Originally from the Syrian capital Damascus, his parents and his two siblings landed in Montreal in February last year after fleeing their home nation’s civil war.

Muhammad and Afraa Bilan wanted to thank Mr Trudeau so named their newborn after him. The prime minister met and held baby Justin during a Calgary Stampede breakfast, a tradition where people are offered a welcoming, free meal from the local community.

Earlier this year in Ontario, another Syrian couple named their newborn Justin in tribute to the prime minister.

Mr Trudeau became prime minister in November 2015. Between then and January 2017, more than 40,000 Syrian refugees have been resettled in Canada. About 1,000 of them now reside in Calgary.

Following US president Donald Trump's ban on immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, Mr Trudeau wrote on social media that his government remained committed to helping "those fleeing persecution, terror & war".