Angelina Jolie has hailed the Iraqi government’s willingness to host Syrian refugees fleeing violence and said she hoped all Syrians seeking asylum in Iraq would be welcomed.
“I want to highlight the noble efforts of the Iraqi government and the people of Iraq to support Syrian refugees,” said Jolie. “At this juncture, it is critical that Iraq receives urgent international support and continues to welcome refugees across its borders.”
Angelina Jolie met with senior government officials in Baghdad and spent time with Iraqis, until recently refugees in Syria, who have returned to Iraq after fleeing violence in their places of former refuge. She spent meeting Syrian refugees in the Domiz camp in northern Iraq. She also met officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government, including Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and Interior Minister Karim Sinjari as well as the governors of Erbil and Dohuk. Many of the officials she met were former refugees.
This was her fourth and final stop of a tour of countries neighbouring Syria, where more than 260,000 Syrian refugees have been registered since the conflict began in March 2011.
This is Angelina Jolie’s fourth visit to Iraq. Some 1.3 million Iraqis remain displaced in their country and the government has made it a priority to improve their standard of living and find solutions for them through voluntary return to their places of origin or through local integration.