Wednesday, April 28, 1999 Published at 16:14 GMT 17:14 UK
Gere visits refugee camp
Richard Gere is best known for his support of Tibet's Dalai Lama
Gere plans to spend three days in Macedonia talking with relief officials and visiting some of the areas holding more than 135,000 people who have taken refuge in the country over last month.
The actor is best known for his support of Tibetan independence. He arrived in Macedonia from Switzerland, where he had been attending 10th birthday celebrations for the Panchen Lama, Tibet's second most important political leader.
"I support many humanitarian causes. I'm just trying to find out what's happening for myself. If there's any way to help then I'll do it," he said.
He visited the country's largest refugee camp, about six miles north of Skopje, and gave one refugee, called Skender, the job of being his unofficial interpreter for the visit in exchange for an autograph.
He asked Skender: "Which is the biggest problem here? Food? Water?"
Skender replied: "Lots of mud."
Before leaving the camp, he asked Skender to translate his own message for the refugees.
"Tell them I'm very happy to see them and the world is thinking about them," he said.
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