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Angelina Jolie: Syrian refugee crisis in Turkey 'simply cannot go on'

By Karen Butler
United Nations Special Envoy for Refugee Issues and actress Angelina Jolie speaks during a Security Council meeting about the current refugee crisis in Syria at United Nations headquarters in New York City on April 24, 2015. File photo by Dennis Van Tine/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/8ea2a825935e423496915e15d1b0d170/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
United Nations Special Envoy for Refugee Issues and actress Angelina Jolie speaks during a Security Council meeting about the current refugee crisis in Syria at United Nations headquarters in New York City on April 24, 2015. File photo by Dennis Van Tine/UPI | License Photo

MARDIN, Turkey, June 21 (UPI) -- The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says its special envoy Angelina Jolie spent World Refugee Day with displaced Syrians, who are seeking asylum in Turkey.

The country is now the world's largest refugee-hosting nation with more than 1.77 million in urban areas and government-run camps.

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"We are here for a simple reason: This region is at the epicenter of a global crisis. Nearly 60 million people are displaced from their homes. That is one in every 122 people on our planet. Our world has never been richer or healthier or more advanced," Jolie said Saturday.

"Yet never before have so many people been dispossessed and stripped of their basic human rights. We should call this what it is: not just a 'refugee crisis,' but a crisis of global security and governance, that is manifesting itself in the worst refugee crisis ever recorded -- and a time of mass displacement," she explained. "The greatest single source of these massive refugee flows is Syria. In the space of four years, Turkey has become the country with the largest number of refugees anywhere in the world, with 1.8 million displaced Syrian and Iraqis. Lebanon, where I was yesterday, is hosting an even greater density of displaced people: every fourth person in Lebanon is now a Syrian refugee. People are running out of places to run to. If you are an Iraqi or a Syrian fleeing violence, where do you go? Every border country is being pushed beyond its limits."

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Jolie then called on the United Nations Security Council to send its ministers and ambassadors to witness the crisis firsthand.

"See that it simply cannot go on. And that it is past time for a credible plan to reach a political solution to end the conflict," she said. "I thank the people of Turkey, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan for their generosity, and all host countries. To all the families here, and around our world, marking this Holy Month, I say, 'Ramadan Kareem.' And I pay tribute to refugees themselves -- the people we rightly celebrate today, not only here in Turkey, but around the world."

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