McCain, Palin expected to meet Manmohan

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New York, Sep 24 (UNI) US presidential and vice-presidential nominees of the Republican Party -- John McCain and Sarah Palin -- are expected to meet with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh later today.

Ms Palin, whose nomination to the post, seems to have re-energised her party faithful, met with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Among others, she is scheduled to meet the leaders from Pakistan, Iraq and Ukraine.

Mr McCain has been criticised in some quarters for choosing a woman who has practically no foreign policy expertise. Her effort to meet with some of the world leaders who happen to be here for the UN General Assembly session is part of her campaign to bolster her credentials in this regard.

Ms Palin is scheduled to face on October 2, foreign policy veteran Joe Biden, the Democratic Party vice presidential nominee, in a debate.

Yesterday, she met with Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and Mr Karzai. She also had an hour-long audience with former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. The Palin-Kissinger parleys focussed on Russia, Iran and China, Russia's invasion of Georgia being the major topic.

Mr Karzai said at an Asia Society meeting that she was a ''quite capable woman.'' On her conversation with Mr Kissinger, Ms Palin told mediapersons, ''It was great.'' According to foreign policy adviser to Ms Palin, Stephen Biegun, who also spoke to the media, ''Ms Palin's purpose of meeting with foreign leaders was to develop relationships and to listen.'' He added, ''These are relationships that she intuitively understands are very important for the next President and Vice-President of the US.'' According to Mr Biegun, Ms Palin focussed during her talks with Mr Uribe and Mr Karzai on issues related to Taliban and FARC guerrillas.

UNI XC SKB KN1504

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