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U2 handed top Portuguese honour

Posted on Tuesday, August 16 @ 17:26:13 CEST by Macphisto
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(BBC.co.uk) -- Irish rock band U2 have been awarded Portugal's highest honour for their humanitarian work.

President Jorge Sampaio bestowed the Order of Liberty honour on the group hours before they went on stage for a concert in Lisbon on Sunday.

Singer Bono, guitarist The Edge, bassist Adam Clayton and drummer Larry Mullen Jr all attended the investiture ceremony at the presidential palace.

"It is of course for the four of us a great, great honour," said Bono.

'Better world'

Bono played a major role in the Live Aid concert for African famine relief 20 years ago and has since campaigned to alleviate global poverty - including taking part in the recent Live 8 concert.

He has also brought many human rights issues to public attention.

After receiving the honour, the U2 frontman urged the Portuguese to help Africa, saying it was unacceptable for children to go hungry and for 3,000 a day to die from malaria.

"If we really believed that an African life was equal to a European life we would not stand by with watering cans while an entire continent was bursting into flames," he said.

Before presenting U2 with their honours, Mr Sampaio said: "Over the last 25 years you have shown that it is possible to combine the pleasure of artistic creation with civic and humanitarian intervention to help build a better world."

It is the first time that Portugal has awarded the Order of Liberty to a foreign music group.

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