UN envoy Angelina Jolie is visiting Greece to meet war-fleeing refugees

  • Reuters, Piraeus
  • Updated: Mar 16, 2016 21:44 IST
Jolie greeted children and asked the throng of reporters, cameramen and photographers to be more “thoughtful” as she tried to speak with them. (AP)

UN special envoy and Hollywood actor Angelina Jolie travelled to Greece on Wednesday to highlight the plight of war-fleeing families stuck in the country.

Jolie visited the temporary offices of U.N. refugee agency UNHCR at the main port of Piraeus near Athens, which has become a makeshift camp for some 4,000 refugees and migrants sleeping in tents on the docks.

A refugee takes a selfie with Jolie during her visit at the port of Piraeus, near Athens, Greece.

Scores of onlookers stood outside the agency’s offices to see the Hollywood actor, clapping and cheering when she appeared.  

Angelina Jolie speaks during a press conference under the rain as part of her visit at a Syrian refugee camp near the city of Zahle in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley on March 15. (AFP)

Jolie greeted children and asked the throng of reporters, cameramen and photographers to be more “thoughtful” as she tried to speak with them.

“I’m here to learn and speak with you and the agencies and the government to learn what is happening, ok?,” Jolie told one boy. “Try to stay strong.”

Angelina Jolie, center, gestures in front of refugees and migrants during her visit at the port of Piraeus near Athens. (AP)

According to a UNHCR press release, Jolie is visiting Greece “to reinforce efforts by UNHCR and the Greek government to step up the emergency response to the deteriorating humanitarian situation”.

Tens of thousands of refugees and migrants are stuck in makeshift camps or reception centres in Greece, which has been struggling with the mass influx of migrants from the Middle East.

A handout picture made available by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on March 15, 2016 shows UNHCR special envoy US actress Angelina Jolie meeting with Syrian refugees. (AFP)

On Wednesday, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the closing of the main migrant route through the Balkans had created a challenging situation for Greece that should concern all of Europe.

Jolie, whose visit comes ahead of a European Union summit with Turkey over the migrant crisis, was also set to meet with Greece’s prime minister.

Read: Angelina Jolie calls for help for Syrian refugees in Turkey camps

During her trip to Lebanon, she urged world powers to do more to end the Syrian conflict and help the millions who have fled the fighting.

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