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Partners:
  Bono, White House Talk Debt, AIDS

The Associated Press
Saturday, June 2, 2001; 1:00 a.m. EDT

WASHINGTON –– Bono took a break from his band's "Elevation" tour to stop at the White House and speak with a presidential adviser about AIDS in Africa and the debt of the world's poorest countries.

The lead singer of the Irish rock band U2 praised congressional support for efforts to cancel debts of poor countries around the world.

"The most extraordinary thing about debt cancellation is that it was a bipartisan effort," Bono said Friday after meeting with White House deputy chief of staff Joshua Bolten.

"We have an ongoing discussion here with people in the White House about the AIDS issue and Africa. It's very, very important to this president and the administration," said Bono, whose real name is Paul Hewson. "I just thought I would throw my tuppence in."

Secretary of State Colin Powell, who just returned from a trip to Africa, has said the administration's priorities for the continent are to provide relief to HIV-AIDS victims.

Bono, 41, was in Washington to speak at a conference on AIDS. He will return with his band in two weeks as part of U2's U.S. concert tour that kicked off in March.

© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press

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