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Angela Merkel hosts George and Amal Clooney

February 12, 2016

Germany's leader has held talks with film star George Clooney in light of the actor's interest in helping refugees. The actor was in town for the Berlin Film Festival, which was also highlighting the plight of migrants.

Deutschland Treffen Angela Merkel und George Clooney
Image: Reuters/Bundesregierung/Guido Bergmann

German Chancellor Angela Merkel hosted George Clooney and his wife, renowned human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, in Berlin on Friday to discuss Europe's refugee crisis. The Clooneys, who are in town for the Berlin Film Festival, offered to lend whatever support they could as Europe struggles to cope with the influx.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert wrote on Twitter that the pair held talks with the chancellor on refugee policies and their involvement with the International Rescue Committee, the New York-based humanitarian aid organization run by former British MP David Miliband, who also attended the 40-minute meeting.

The actor told reporters on Thursday that he would be meeting with Merkel "to talk about and ask what messages and what things we can do... to help." When asked how he felt about the German leader's policies on the migrant crisis, he said "I absolutely agree" with it.

Clooney meeting Merkel

The Clooneys awere set to meet a group of refugees living in the German capital later on Friday.

This year's Berlin Film Festival is putting refugees in the spotlight by publicly announcing its intention to act as a role model for tolerance in Germany - and by offering free tickets to asylum seekers.

Germany took in 1.1 million refugees in 2015. At the onset of the crisis, Merkel introduced an open-door policy that has come under an increasing amount of criticism in recent months. The condemnation heightened after a series of sexual assaults in the city of Cologne on New Year's Eve, as many of the perpetrators were said to have been asylum seekers.

es/rc (AP, AFP, dpa)