Bono Hails US Interest In Africa, Awaits Cheque From Bush

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7.7.03 - AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Irish singer and activist U2's Bono hailed US President George W. Bush for his "sincerity" in wanting to help Africa and criticized the US Congress for what he was were moves to undermine those efforts.

"I believe the president is sincere in his conviction to put America up front and in a way that hasn't been done before," Bono said during a teleconference as Bush prepared a visit to five African countries.

Bono noted the "drama unfolding backstage in Congress" where moves are afoot to make 1.7 billion dollar in cuts to an aid package Bush seeks to allocate to African countries.

"This threatens all of the above and makes meaningless the president's intent to make his trip," he said.

"We have to make sure that his intentions are not undone and we are watching the process," Bono said, adding that, "we are not fooled by photo-ops ... the only thing that impresses us is getting the check cashed, not the check signing."

"It's potentially life-changing and life-saving for millions of people," he said.

Bush was to embark on a five-nation trip to Africa, his first visit to the continent which will be dominated by the crisis in Liberia.

The US president departs Washington and travels from July 8-12 to Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Uganda and Nigeria.

Bush is seeking to promote anti-AIDS ( news -web sites ) projects and boost development in Africa, while looking for stronger cooperation in the fight against terrorism.

Copyright © 2003 Agence France Presse. All rights reserved.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan published on July 7, 2003 3:07 AM.

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