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Palin makes US TV interview debut

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Sarah Palin's TV interview debut

The US Republican vice-presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, has rejected criticism that she is not experienced enough, in her first US TV interview.

Speaking to ABC News, Mrs Palin said she was "ready" to serve the US as deputy to John McCain.

On foreign affairs, the 44-year-old Alaska governor said she backed Nato membership for Ukraine and Georgia.

Mrs Palin was also quizzed on previous comments she made describing the war in Iraq as being a "task from God".

She said she was quoting the words of Abraham Lincoln: "I would never presume to know God's will or to speak God's words.

"But what Abraham Lincoln had said... was let us not pray that God is on our side in a war or any other time, but let us pray that we are on God's side."

'Lack of experience'

Observers were surprised when Republican presidential candidate John McCain picked Mrs Palin to be his running mate.

When you are a Nato ally, if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help
Sarah Palin
US vice-presidential candidate

Mrs Palin has been governor of Alaska for less than two years, and many commentators said she lacked the necessary experience to be vice-president, especially in the foreign policy arena.

Nevertheless, the BBC's Kevin Connolly in Washington says, most American voters are likely to take away from the interview the same impressions they took into it.

Mrs Palin was strong and confident enough to please her Republican supporters, our correspondent says, but her sketchiness on some details will have given her Democratic opponents plenty of ammunition as well.

'Proud'

Asked whether her support for Georgian membership of Nato meant that the US would have to go to war if Russia again invaded Georgia, Mrs Palin said that was a possibility.

"Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a Nato ally, if another country is attacked, you're going to be expected to be called upon and help."

But she insisted that the US and Russia "cannot repeat the Cold War".

The interview was recorded in Fairbanks, Alaska, where Mrs Palin was attending an army ceremony to send her 19-year-old son Track to serve in Iraq.

"I am so proud of his independent and strong decision he has made, what he decided to do and serving for the right reasons and serving something greater than himself and not choosing a really easy path where he could be more comfortable and certainly safer," Mrs Palin said.

Track Palin is being sent to Iraq to serve in the Stryker Brigade Combat Team of the 25th Infantry Division.





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