(05-29-2003) Bono and Berlusconi Talk - AFP * - U2 Feedback

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Old 05-29-2003, 07:12 AM   #1
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(05-29-2003) Bono and Berlusconi Talk - AFP *


Berlusconi chats to U2's Bono ahead of G8 summit

ROME (AFP) - Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi held a lengthy telephone conversation with Bono, the Irish lead singer of U2 campaigning for third world debt relief, ahead of the G8 summit, his office said in a statement.

Bono thanked Berlusconi for Italy's support for plans to cancel the debt burden of the world's poorest countries, the statement said. The singer had said he planned to corner Berlusconi to demand more aid for Africa when the two men attended a benefit concert on Tuesday.

Speaking before the concert given by Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti and other stars in aid of Iraqi children, the U2 front man had said Italy was one of the countries most committed to reducing African countries' foreign debt.

In the past 18 months, Italy has written off more than 1.5 billion dollars (1.3 billion euros) in debt to 23 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, the prime minister's office said.

During the conversation, Bono also urged Berlusconi to relaunch a G8 program launched in 2001 to fight AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. Berlusconi answered that Italy had already contributed 200 million dollars to the fund.

Leaders of Britain, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan, Russia and the United States are due to meet on June 1-3 for the annual G8 summit in Evian on Lake Geneva.

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Old 06-02-2003, 03:39 AM   #2
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