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AFRICA: Bush administration "insensitive"

Africa Action, a US-based lobby group on African affairs, has criticised the decision by President George W. Bush to postpone his trip to Africa.

Africa Action's Executive Director, Salih Booker, called the decision "wholly unjustified and insensitive to those dying on the frontlines in the war on HIV/AIDS ... A war more just and important than any war on Iraq, and one which George W. Bush refuses to acknowledge".

The White House announced last week that it was postponing the 10-17 January trip during which Bush was expected to visit Senegal, Nigeria, Kenya, South Africa and Mauritius.

"Once again Africa is not a priority for this White House and the Republican rulers on Capitol Hill," the press statement said.

Africa Action called the HIV/AIDS pandemic "the worst human catastrophe in recorded history" adding that Africa made up 80 percent of over 3 million killed by HIV/AIDS worldwide this year.

"Since its inauguration two years ago, the Bush administration's foreign policy priorities have been at odds with those of African nations ... Washington has failed to support African and international efforts to defeat the HIV/AIDS pandemic," Africa Action said.

For the full press statement: http://www.africaaction.org/docs02/pres0212.htm

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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