Sarah Palin meets Karzai, Uribe

September 24th, 2008 - 6:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Sarah PalinNew York, Sep 24 (DPA) Sarah Palin, vice presidential running mate of US presidential candidate John McCain, has held her first direct talks with foreign leaders, meeting Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.The talks were part of a series of scheduled meetings for Palin starting Monday - an effort to boost the one-term Alaska governor’s foreign policy credibility - on the sidelines of an annual gathering of world leaders at the United Nations.

The New York visits of both Palin and McCain, who arrives Wednesday, have been tightly controlled by the Republican nominee’s campaign. The media office would provide no official details of their plans ahead of time.

Only a brief photo opportunity was allowed in both of Palin’s meetings. No print reporters, only a television crew and producer, were allowed in to cover the Karzai meeting, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Uribe told reporters he had a good meeting with Palin. It showed there was goodwill from the US on securing a free-trade deal, which has yet to be approved by Congress, he said.

Asked by Colombian reporters what she thought of the South American country, Palin only responded “beautiful, beautiful.”

Palin has faced criticism for granting very few media interviews since being announced as McCain’s running mate four weeks ago. She has yet to hold a press conference.

McCain and Palin will reportedly hold talks Wednesday morning with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and Ukranian President Viktor Yuschenko.

On Thursday, McCain will address a foundation established by former US president Bill Clinton. Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama, who is not travelling to New York, will address the same annual Clinton gathering via satellite.

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