U2's Bono Asks for Debt Relief

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9.8.00 - Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP) - U2's Bono joined a sea of protesters and politicians on Thursday calling for the world's wealthiest countries to forgive the hundreds of billions of dollars of debt saddling the most destitute nations.

"The only thing that is standing in the way of forgiving this debt is bureaucracy and red tape," said the black-clad Bono, wearing his signature goggle-like sunglasses and standing next to Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. "Show us the money!"

The two men presented Secretary-General Kofi Annan with a petition signed by 21.2 million people from more than 155 countries.

The United States has balked at the calls for debt relief and tariff reductions for poor countries. Other world leaders say they are willing to erase $100 billion worth of debt, but that still leaves $250 billion that poor countries say they cannot repay. Nigeria alone owes $30 billion in debt it says it can't make good on.

Annan thanked Bono and Obasanjo and said that the effort was a good example of common humanity and solidarity.

The signatures were collected at churches and other organizations.

"It's a new world government and we must understand that people out there want something done," Annan said.

Copyright © 2000 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on September 8, 2000 11:55 PM.

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