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Tuesday, 17 July, 2001, 08:38 GMT 09:38 UK
Bono praises French debt efforts
Lionel Jospin and Bono
Jospin (left) with Bono, a fan of France's debt efforts
U2 singer Bono has thanked French prime minister Lionel Jospin for his country's efforts to write off the debt of the world's poorest countries.

"The fact that France is the country in the world which has done most to write off the debt is not very well-known," said the Irish singer.

Bono went to Jospin's office on Monday to deliver the message and to ask for further French help to, in his words, "finish what we have started".

France has written off the debt of 34 of the world's 41 poorest countries.

Final push

Bono is supporting the campaign Drop The Debt in its efforts to influence the G8 summit in Genoa this weekend.

Bono on stage
U2's Elevation Tour is currently in France
The debt relief campaign was due to be wound up in December 2000, but its backers have decided to extend its work to make one final push in Genoa where they will call for the complete cancellation of debt owed by developing countries.

Drop the Debt is supported by groups such as Christian Aid, Mother's Union, Oxfam, Tearfund, United Reform Church, CAFOD and the union UNISON, as well as celebrities Bob Geldof, Muhammad Ali and Bono himself.

"I have come to thank the prime minister, but also the president [Jacques Chirac], who have helped us a lot and all those who are involved in these activities," Bono said on his visit to Paris.

Bono was also in Paris to give concerts on Tuesday and Wednesday as part of U2's Elevation Tour.

See also:

16 Jul 01 | Business
Debt issues crowd Genoa
19 Jun 01 | Showbiz
Geldof defends debt campaign
24 Apr 01 | Northern Ireland
U2 message to American fans
20 Mar 01 | Entertainment
In pictures: Into the Hall of Fame
08 Feb 01 | Entertainment
U2 on fire at warm-up gig
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