Breakfast in Downing Street

22 May 2003
Bono joined Bob Geldof and other campaigners at a 'breakfast for Africa' with British Prime Minister Tony Blair this morning.

Campaigners told the British Prime Minister that international disagreements over Iraq should take a backseat in favour of the battle against the AIDS epidemic in Africa, reported the BBC. Mr Blair, said Bono, could take a central role in negotiating an agreement on tackling Aids at next month's G8 summit in France.

He said: "The war against terrorism is bound up against the war on poverty.

"I did not say that, (US Secretary of State) Colin Powell said that, that the greatest weapon of mass destruction is the Aids virus and when a military man says something like that you know you have to start paying attention."

The meeting in Downing Street was also attended by UK International Development Secretary Baroness Amos and representatives of non-governmental organisations and academics.

Speaking afterwards, Bono said there was too much cynicism about how effective G8 meetings - which bring together leaders of the UK, the United States, Canada, France, Italy, Germany, Japan and Russia - could be. He said the G8 nations had responded to the Drop the Debt campaign which had led to improvements in living standards for many in Africa.

Geldof, who organised the world's biggest charity concert, Live Aid, in 1985, and Bono have regularly lobbied world leaders over the problems facing the developing world.

More on the campaign to fight poverty in Africa here www.datadata.org

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