[Sinn Fein]

20th March 2000

Adams speaks to Clinton on World Debt

Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams MP, who is a supporter of the Jubilee 2000 Campaign to end Third World debt, took the opportunity of his meeting with President Bill Clinton to congratulate the US President ``for the leadership he has shown on this issue and to urge him to maintain the momentum he created when he cancelled 100% of the debt owed to the US by some of the world's poorest nations.''

Mr. Adams spoke to President Clinton for ten minutes on this issue during their St. Patrick's Day meeting in the White House. He also gave the President a letter outlining the next moves which the Sinn Fein President feels are required if we are to reach a comprehensive agreement to alleviate the poorest nations of the crippling burden of world debt.

Praising President Clinton for his leadership and efforts on this issue Mr. Adams said:

``President Clinton is very focused on this issue. I urged him to persuade other political leaders to follow his example and to include countries like Haiti, Nigeria and Bangladesh who have been left out of the current schemes.

``The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have pivotal roles to play in tackling this matter and the US can exercise enormous influence over those institutions.''

The Sinn Fein President expressed his support for the proposal by Jubilee 2000 of a G8 Summit in Africa and he asked President Clinton to look closely at this possibility.

The two also spoke of the plight of Mozambique and of efforts to address the crisis faced by that disaster struck nation.

Mr. Adams concluded:

``The debt burden faced by Third World countries is overwhelming. The consequences for health care, education, homes, a decent standard of living and for millions their very lives, is enormous. This is especially true for the children who die in their tens of thousands due to dehydration, malnutrition and disease. We share a collective responsibility to end this nightmare for families involved and the world.

``I believe that there is widespread goodwill on this issue and political leaders who take risks and give leadership will win the backing of all humanity.''ENDS

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