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Ben Affleck discusses the Congo in D.C.

From left: Ben Affleck, former Senator Russ Feingold, and Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department.

Mike Theiler/reuters

From left: Ben Affleck, former Senator Russ Feingold, and Secretary of State John Kerry at the State Department.

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Two locals — Ben Affleck and Secretary of State John Kerry — met at the State Department on Wednesday to talk about the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Affleck — who founded the Eastern Congo Initiative in 2010 — had made the trip to Washington, D.C., to discuss the region with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The actor-director-activist said, before his testimony, “I’m very grateful to be here in this esteemed company and particularly grateful to the Secretary, whose purview is the entire world, [who] has taken time to focus on this issue and to recognize that this is a moment where we have a window where we can really effect change.” Affleck added, “It’s just a pleasure to be back here in the State Department after — the real State Department — I had to fake it for ‘Argo.’ I get to see the real thing here, so it’s quite intimidating.” Later on, Affleck, a Democrat, commended former President George W. Bush and Cindy McCain for advocating for the Congo and said, “‘Our Republican friends have perhaps been better on Africa than my party.”

Mark Shanahan can be reached at shanahan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MarkAShanahan. Meredith Goldstein can be reached at mgoldstein@globe.com. Follow her on Twitter @MeredithGoldste.
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