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Angelina Jolie visits Syrians in Lebanon: “We can’t help some refugees and not others”

The US actress visited Syrian refugees in the Bekaa Valley, Lebanon. She blamed the world leaders for not addressing the root causes of the conflict.

“It is tragic and shameful that we are so far away from that point,” from the end of the Syrian civil war. American actress Angelina Jolie visited Bekaa Valley, Lebanon, at the border with Syria, as a special envoy of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

Aid isn’t enough

Her visit, on the fifth anniversary of the Syrian civil war, was the occasion to blame the international community: “We cannot manage the world through aid relief in the place of diplomacy and diplomatic solutions”.

 

The actress spent time with numerous Syrian refugees, including a mother paralysed after being shot. “We need governments around the world to show leadership. They must respond to this emergency by taking on responsibility of addressing the problem together”.

The refugee crisis not only involves Europe

Since the Syrian conflict began, about 5 million people have fled the country, generating a mass migration mainly towards neighbouring countries, including Lebanon, Turkey and Jordan. According to Jolie, “We cannot discuss this as if it were a problem confined to the situations of tens of thousands of refugees in Europe. We cannot improve this reality by partial responses or by responding to some crisis and not others, or by helping some refugees and not others, or by excluding African refugees, among others, or by making a distinction between refugees on the grounds of religion”.

 

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© J Tanner/UNHCR via Getty Images

 

In this sense, the US actress commented the advance of populist parties at the elections recently held in German regions. According to her, if we distance ourselves from the founding principles of law, we will do nothing but worsening the situation.

 

In particular, the result achieved by the German right-wing party Alternative für Deutschland, which focused its campaign on the refugees issue suggesting that the police should shoot refugees who try to enter the country illegally, is cause for worry.

Cover photo ©J Tanner/UNHCR via Getty Images

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