Lifestyle & Belief

Angelina Jolie implores Kurdistan to keep borders open for Syria refugees


U.N. Goodwill Ambassador Angelina Jolie visits Libya to help agencies bringing aid to Libyans in Tripoli and Misrata on October 11, 2011 in Misrata, Libya. Jolie was appointed as special envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees on April 17, 2012.



International superstar Angelina Jolie is continuing her tour of nations bordering Syria, visiting a refugee camp in Kurdistan, Iraq's autonomous area reserved for the Kurdish minority.

Jolie implored Kurdish authorities to keep the border open for Syrian refugees, who are fleeing the ever-escalating violence in their native country, reported the Australian Herald Sun.

Read more from GlobalPost: Angelina Jolie promoted to UNHCR Special Envoy

"The most important thing is cooperation from the countries on the (Syrian) border ... and to make sure these borders in all countries stay open," Jolie told Australian Herald Sun reporters at the Domiz refugee camp.

"I've been of course very encouraged to be here and hear the government speak of continuing this wonderful, life-saving open border policy."  

Jolie — well known for her interest in humanitarian causes — is a special envoy for the United Nations High Commission on Refugees, and is currently touring the Middle East with a focus on the plight of Syrian refugees.

Read more from GlobalPost: Angelina Jolie in Jordan: Syrian refugees telling me 'horrific' stories

UNHCR's Syria Regional Refugee Response website reports 25,508 registered Syrian refugees in Iraq, and it is almost certain there are many more who have not been entered into the system. There are 50,689 in Jordan, and 80,104 in Turkey.

Last week, Jolie visited a camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan, reported the Associated Press, where she met with refugee women residing in the tent city.

"When you meet so many innocent people and civilians, the people of Syria are asking who is on their side. 'Who is going to help us as the months go on?" Jolie commented to AP.

Jolie was accompanied by UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres and Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh, who toured the tent city at the same time.

Jolie has been a special envoy for UNHCR since April 17, 2012, after working as a goodwill ambassador for the refugee agency.