US President Bill Clinton has warned the people of Northern Ireland they will lose the support of the US if they vote against a peace plan on Friday. Leaders of the world's seven biggest industrial powers, together with Russian President Boris Yeltsin, yesterday gave a strong endorsement at the Group of Eight (G8) summit to the peace agreement, which will be put to the people of Northern Ireland in a referendum. But Mr Clinton told those campaigning against the agreement they would risk losing foreign investment if they did not endorse it. The plan would see the establishment of a new elected assembly in the province. 'I have made it as clear as I can that anyone who abandons peace will never be a friend of America's. We will not tolerate it,' Mr Clinton said. 'I would like voters to imagine what will happen if they vote 'no'. They will have a great deal to lose if they vote 'no' and walk away.' Mr Clinton said the United States was home to the world's largest overseas Irish community, many of whom would be reluctant to invest in Northern Ireland or offer any other support if the province did not vote in favour. Under the agreement, some terrorists jailed during almost 30 years of fighting between Protestants and Catholics could be released from jail and allowed to stand for election to a new executive. But British Prime Minister Tony Blair said that anyone who stood for election would have to renounce violence. 'I give you the explicit commitment that people will not be able to sit in power if they are using the gun and the ballot box as twin strategies,' Mr Blair said. Recent reports from the province have suggested the campaign against the agreement is gathering support, but Mr Blair said he believed it would be accepted by the majority of voters. The G8 leaders issued a statement warmly welcoming the deal 'as a basis for political stability and . . . economic development'. A car bomb allegedly left by Irish republican dissidents was defused close to a police station in Armagh yesterday, British security sources said.