Clooney OK with Sudanese Leader’s Italy Visit

Here’s a new twist in the entertainment industry’s efforts in Darfur.

George Clooney told the Associated Press that he welcomes visit by Sudan leader Omar al-Bashir to Italy, where he is to meet on Friday with Italian Premier Romano Prodi and Pope Benedict XVI.

“The policy of not talking to them because they’re unsavory hasn’t been very effective,” Clooney said. “So my hope is that having a conversation with this man can somehow further movement toward getting these people back into their homes, their villages.”

According to the AP, Amnesty International and some European parliament members say Italy shouldn’t receive a man whose regime has been accused of genocide in the Sudanese region of Darfur.

Clooney is co-founder of the human rights group Not On Our Watch, which is focusing its attention on the Darfur crisis. He has a home in the Lake Como area of Italy.

“Our hope is that if we can have some conversations with this guy, then we can get this thing to move much quicker,” Clooney said. “So whatever it takes: There are 2.5 million people who could very easily die, and I’m concerned with their lives more than anything.”

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