Palin to Meet With Saakashvili In Foreign Policy Crash Course

WASHINGTON -- Republican U.S. 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 -- including Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko -- as well as former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger in New York City this week, where the UN 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 was to meet separately with Kissinger, Colombian President Alvaro Uribe and Afghan President Hamid Karzai.

On Wednesday, she is to meet jointly with Saakashvili and Yushchenko. She then will meet separately with Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Her discussions are certain to touch on some of the globe's most sensitive and troubled areas. Kissinger, who was secretary of state under Republican presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald 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 the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia.

Afghanistan's government is struggling against resurgent Taliban forces, and thousands of U.S. troops continue to fight in Iraq.