German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been having a tough time finding support for her open-door refugee policy these days. But on Friday she was backed by an unlikely savior.
Hollywood star and activist George Clooney, visiting the German capital for the Berlinale film festival, met with the Ms. Merkel at the chancellory on Friday afternoon to discuss the ongoing refugee crisis. He was joined by his wife Amal Clooney, a well-known human rights lawyer and advisor to the United Nations.
The evening before the meeting, George Clooney took a few questions from Handelsblatt Global Edition.
Handelsblatt Global Edition: What are you going to ask Merkel tomorrow morning?
George Clooney: We’re just going to talk about all the issues that she’s facing and some of the responsibilities that I think our country should be facing, which we haven’t really done much of.
Are you going to get involved in any refugee projects?
I’ve been involved with refugees for an awful long time…
No, here in Berlin.
I don’t think it’s really necessarily my place to be involved in Berlin refugees or politics. My job is actually to try and look out – wherever we can – for refugees. I’ve been doing it in the Nuba Mountains in South Sudan and I’ve been doing it in Darfur for a long time. It’s a very important part of my life.
Do you support Ms. Merkel’s stance on refugees?
It was an amazing stance and a very brave stance. It’s getting a little shaky because it’s politically harder and harder under the weight of the things that go on. I hope it continues. But I want to talk to her to ask her if there are things we can do to help.