Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin may have little experience in foreign policy, but she's about to get a two-day crash course.
The first-term Alaska governor plans to meet seven world leaders and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in New York City this week, where the U.N. General Assembly is convening. The meetings might help her answer critics who say she is not ready to handle world affairs. Palin obtained her first passport last year.
On Tuesday she will meet separately with Kissinger, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and Afghan President Hamid Karzai. On Wednesday she is to meet jointly with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko. She then will meet separately with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Palin also will sit down with rock star and humanitarian activist Bono.
Her discussions are certain to touch on some of the globe's most sensitive and troubled areas. Kissinger, who was secretary of state under presidents Nixon and Ford, writes and counsels clients on a range of world topics. Uribe is seeking a free-trade agreement that Congress has yet to approve.
Pakistan has been roiled by violence and political upheaval, and its relations with India remain testy. Georgia just fought a brief war with Russia over a contested province. Afghanistan's government is struggling against resurgent Taliban forces, and thousands of U.S. troops continue to fight in Iraq.