Hollywood star Angelina Jolie said Thursday that Syrian refugees were deeply worried about the plight of their families back home as she visited a Turkish camp on the border with the war-torn nation.
“They are very very emotional and very deeply saddened by the situation in Syria and very concerned about their family and friends in their country,” said Jolie, a UN special envoy.
“Our thoughts are with them and with the Turkish people and we are very grateful to you,” she said, also praising the Ankara government for funding “such extraordinary camps.”
Jolie, accompanied by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, met some of the 12,000 refugees at the Oncupinar camp, which lies outside the southeastern city of Kilis on the Syrian border.
The Oscar-winning actress said she listened to the stories of the refugees who have fled Syria, where a brutal conflict that began as a peaceful uprising against the Damascus regime has now killed around 27,000 people, according to activists.
Jolie was also briefed by Turkish officials at Oncupinar on conditions at the country’s border camps which altogether shelter some 80,000 registered refugees, according to the Anatolia news agency.
“I would be a happy man if we would be able to provide to all the refugees in the world the same kind of conditions that generously the Turkish government is providing here in Kilis camp to the Syrian refugees,” Guterres told reporters.
Jolie also travelled to another camp in nearby Gaziantep city and is due in Ankara for talks with Turkish officials, including President Abdullah Gul.
On Tuesday, Jolie visited a refugee camp in Jordan where she appealed to the world to “do everything they can to support these refugees” fleeing the escalating conflict in their country.
Ankara has called for safe zones to protect people on Syrian soil, but the proposal fell on deaf ears at a UN Security Council meeting last month.