Palin to make rare foreign trip to India
WASHINGTON (AFP) – US conservative champion Sarah Palin, who has faced charges of a lack of foreign policy experience as she considers a White House run, will visit India next month, an aide said.
Rebecca Mansour, a top adviser to the former Alaska governor, tweeted that Palin would visit India next month and linked to a schedule listing her as a speaker at the annual conclave of magazine India Today.
Palin will deliver a keynote dinner address on March 19 in New Delhi entitled, “My Vision of America,” the schedule said.
The magazine seeks prominent speakers each year for the event. Other invited speakers include feminist writer Germaine Greer, Egyptian opposition figure Mohamed ElBaradei, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and hardline Kashmiri separatist Syed Ali Geelani.
Palin, who was the Republican Party’s vice presidential nominee in 2008, has faced derision over her perceived lack of foreign policy savvy as she considers a 2012 bid to be commander-in-chief of the world’s most powerful military.
She famously said that Alaska’s proximity to Russia gave her experience and had only gone overseas to greet US soldiers serving in the Middle East before Senator John McCain picked her as his running mate.
In a 2008 interview with Katie Couric of CBS News, Palin said she had been working hard and was not one of the “kids who perhaps graduated college and their parents get them a passport and a backpack and say, ‘Go off and travel the world.'”
Palin has carefully managed her public appearances as she considers challenging President Barack Obama. Besides commentating on Fox News, she largely avoids mainstream media and communicates via statements on Facebook and Twitter.
Palin’s decision to visit India comes as the United States increasingly seeks closer relations with the world’s largest democracy.
US politicians from across the political spectrum have embraced India in recent years, a far cry from the two nations’ uneasy ties during the Cold War. Obama visited in November.