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Angelina Jolie meets Mikati, visits Syrian refugees in Lebanon

US actress and UNHCR special envoy Angelina Jolie meets with syrian children refugees in the eastern lebanon's Bekaa Valley near the border with Syria. AFP PHOTO/HO/UNHCR/JASON TANNER

BEIRUT: Actress and celebrity Angelina Jolie met with Prime Minister Najib Mikati Wednesday and visited Syrian refugees in Lebanon as part of a regional tour to draw attention to their plight.

“I was very moved today to meet again with the Syrian families and to meet them here – not in a camp but in homes where they are welcomed and protected,” Jolie said during a press conference at the Grand Serail following her meeting with Mikati.

Jolie toured border towns and visited the homes of several refugees and their hosts. She was accompanied by United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, who also attended the meeting with Mikati.

Jolie’s role as U.N. special envoy entails touring Syrian refugee communities in an attempt to highlight their hardship and increase international support for them.

She said she was particularly moved by an encounter with three Syrian women and their children who made the crossing into Lebanon alone.

“The Lebanese people themselves are dealing with their own problems,” she said. “It is all the more meaningful that they are so generous and so kind, and I hope the world acknowledges that.”

Guterres called for more international assistance for the Syrian refugees in remarks to reporters following discussions with Mikati.

Jolie was in Jordan Tuesday, where she toured a Syrian refugee camp and called for an end to the violence in Syria.

There are over 65,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon who are registered or awaiting registration. Local aid organizations say there are likely tens of thousands more who have not sought aid with UNHCR.

 

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