01/12/2015 10:15 EST | Updated 03/14/2015 05:59 EDT

John Baird Flies To Egypt To Seek Mohamed Fahmy's Release

Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird left for Egypt late Monday evening to push for the release of Canadian-Egyptian journalist Mohamed Fahmy, CBC News has learned.

Sources tell CBC News Baird will be in Cairo on Thursday to discuss the issue with government officials, including the Egyptian president, foreign minister and prominent religious leaders.

Fahmy was working for Al-Jazeera in December 2013 when he was arrested and imprisoned in Cairo. He is accused of spreading false news and supporting Egypt's outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

Fahmy's lawyers are fighting to have him released and deported back to Canada.

Fahmy's fiancée, Marwa Omara, has maintained he is innocent, and she has been issued a Canadian visa to travel with Fahmy back to Canada if he is released.

Family members say they were told by an Egyptian government official last week that Fahmy's deportation back to Canada is in its "final phase."

A new law passed in Egypt last November allows for foreign convicts or suspects to be transferred to their countries to serve their sentence or be tried.

Baird has been working for months behind the scenes to secure Fahmy's release.

Baird is also expected to address security in the region and the threat of ISIS.

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