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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 December 2006, 11:32 GMT
Clooney lobbies Egypt on Darfur
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit (l) and George Clooney
Clooney (right) has called the conflict in Darfur a genocide
Actor George Clooney has been in talks with Egypt's foreign minister over the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan.

The film star, 45, met with Ahmed Aboul Gheit as part of his campaign to bring relief to the war-torn region.

"We are hoping to just constantly keep the conversation going on humanitarian issues, that's our big goal," he told reporters outside the foreign ministry.

An estimated 200,000 people have died in Darfur since 2003, when rebels took up arms against the government.

The violence has intensified despite the presence of some 7,000 African Union peacekeepers.

'Noble aims'

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Clooney said he wanted to find some way to increase protection for the estimated 2.5m people driven from their homes by the fighting.

Mr Gheit told the Oscar-winning actor that one reason for the deteriorating security situation was that "some rebel groups are still outside the peace agreement signed in Abuja in May," according to a statement from the foreign ministry.

The foreign minister also expressed his appreciation for "the noble aims of the Darfur campaign and Clooney's efforts".

Clooney also met the son and wife of the country's President, Hosni Mubarak, as part of the campaign.

He was accompanied on his trip by Ocean's Thirteen co-star Don Cheadle, who starred in the Oscar-nominated film Hotel Rwanda, about the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Other members of the campaign group included Kenyan Olympian Tegla Loroupe, American speed skater Joey Cheek, and David Pressman, a human rights lawyer and former aide to US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

'Genocide'

Darfur refugees in Chad
Many thousands of displaced people are in need of relief supplies
Mr Clooney and his journalist father, Nick, spent five days in Darfur in April hearing personal stories of some of the victims of the fighting.

In September, he made an impassioned speech to the UN Security Council, urging them to act on the situation.

He told council members genocide was taking place "on your watch", and how they responded would be their legacy.

Sudan has rejected a UN resolution authorising a 20,000-strong force for Darfur as an attack on its sovereignty.

Last week Clooney was in China, which has close ties to the Khartoum government, trying to persuade officials to allow UN peacekeepers into the region.

Beijing, which is one of Sudan's biggest customers for oil, has so far resisted UN attempts to force Sudan into accepting its troops.


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