02/01/2015 05:42 EST | Updated 04/03/2015 05:59 EDT

Mohamed Fahmy Case: John Baird Hopeful For Journalist's Release

OTTAWA - Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird says he's in touch with his Egyptian counterpart and is hopeful Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fahmy will be released from jail soon.

Thompson Reuters is reporting that the Al-Jazeera journalist will be released from prison within days.

Baird says he welcomes Sunday's release of Al-Jazeera English reporter Peter Greste, calling it a positive development.

Greste, Fahmy, and Egyptian Baher Mohamed were sentenced to at least seven years in prison on terrorism-related charges last year in a trial derided as a sham by human rights organizations.

The three were arrested over their coverage of the violent crackdown on Islamist protests following the military overthrow of President Mohammed Morsi in 2013. Egyptian authorities accused them of providing a platform for Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood, now declared a terrorist organization.

Foreign Affairs said in a statement that Baird thanked his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry, for his continued friendship to Canada when they talked on Sunday.

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