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Afghan 'Little Picasso' offered Serbian citizenship

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic has offered a Serbian passport to a 10-year-old Afghan refugee famous for his artistic talent. The boy previously helped raise money for a Serbian cancer patient.

The Afghan boy, Farhad Nouri, visited the presidential office in Belgrade with his parents and two siblings on Wednesday. Nouri and his family are among several thousands of migrants stranded in various migrant camps across the Balkan country.

Nouri, also know as "Little Picasso," left Afghanistan two years ago and has been living in Serbia for the last eight months, where he is also attending a drawing course. His parents are hoping to reach Switzerland, despite Balkan states closing their borders to limit the flow of migrants last year.

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Dead-end Balkan

"I know for how long you have traveled and that you want to go to Switzerland," Serbian President Vucic said. "But if you decide to stay, we will give you the citizenship now."

Scholarship also on offer

Nouri became famous in Belgrade for his drawings of famous people, including of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. He held his first exhibition recently where he raised funds for a local six-year-old boy recovering from cancer.

Read more: Migrants scuffle with police on Serbian border

During the Wednesday meeting, the Serbian president offered Nouri a scholarship and a job for his father in case he decided to become a Serbian citizen.

Nouri reportedly answered that he still wants to go to study art in Switzerland, countered by Vucic's pledge that the official would "fight to convince" him to stay in Serbia.

dj/kms (AP, AFP)

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