The star also visits American troops and U.S. commander Gen. David Petraeus

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated February 07, 2008 09:15 AM
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Chris Polk/WireImage

Shining onstage at the Santa Barbara Film Festival only last Saturday, Angelina Jolie showed up a world away – in every respect – on Thursday: Baghdad.

The goodwill ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 32, is there on a U.S. government mission with the State Department to Iraq. She is accompanying Under Secretary of State Paula Dobriansky “to learn more about the humanitarian crisis and the 4 million displaced people, 58 percent of whom are under 12,” says her philanthropic adviser, Trevor Neilson.

“There’s lots of goodwill and lots of discussion, but there seems to be just a lot of talk at the moment, and a lot of pieces that need to be put together. I’m trying to figure out what they are,” Jolie, calling for a more coherent plan for the refugees to trickle back to their homes, said as part of an interview with CNN .

“What happens in Iraq and how Iraq settles in the years to come is going to affect the entire Middle East,” she said. “And a big part of what it’s going to affect, how it settles, is how these people are returned and settled into their homes and their community and brought back together and whether they can live together and what their communities look like.”

She added, “It’s in our best interest to address a humanitarian crisis on this scale because displacement can lead to a lot of instability and aggression.”

Jolie met with the top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Iraqi migration officials, says the American Embassy, the Associated Press reports.

AP Television News also showed her socializing with American troops over lunch at a dining facility in the high-security Green Zone, where the embassy and Iraqi government offices in central Baghdad are located. In the afternoon, she visited internally displaced people.

“Angelina is trying to urge everyone to develop a plan to address getting these people home,” Neilson adds.

Jolie will return to the U.S. Thursday night.