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Friday, 22 September, 2000, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
U2's Bono appeals to US
U2 singer Bono
Outspoken: Singer continues Drop the Debt campaign
U2 frontman Bono has appealed to the American government to increase the amount of debt relief it gives to poor countries.

The singer was backed by Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and Republican senator Orinn Hatch at a news conference on the steps of the US Congress.

Bono supports the Jubilee 2000 campaign which encourages the world's richest nations to drop debt owed to them by countries in the Third World.

Meanwhile, U2 have move a step closer to finalising a world tour, with reports the band will start with a concert in Miami and will also play Slane Castle, in Ireland.

No concrete details have been released but a new album, All That You Can't Leave Behind, is to be released on 30 October.

Millions of signatures

Bono, wearing his trademark sunglasses, joked that he would have to provide a lot more free tickets to his new-found supporters during the time he has spent lobbying on the issue of debt.

"It's going to be a lot of tickets. Just the sight of Orrin Hatch in the mosh pit... it's exciting," Bono said.

President Clinton asked Congress to provide $435m to fund America's share of a proposal to drop debt held by the world's 40 poorest nations, most of them in Africa.

But the House of Representatives approved just $224m while the Senate approved just $75m of the request.

Earlier this month Bono delivered a petition with more than 21 million signatures to the UN Millennium Summit, asking them to cancel Third World debt.

He handed the document over to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan at the conference in New York.

See also:

20 Jul 00 | debt
Q & A: Dropping the debt
16 Dec 99 | Entertainment
U2 singer in trouble over outburst
07 Sep 00 | Americas
Castro disarms summit with joke
10 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Bono grabs Berlin spotlight
08 Sep 00 | Entertainment
Bono petitions leaders over debt
12 Mar 00 | New Music Releases
CD Review: The Million Dollar Hotel
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