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Ticket gets foreign policy experience

Barack Obama's selection of Sen. Joe Biden as his vice presidential candidate was seen abroad as adding depth to the foreign policy of a potential Obama administration.

European analysts said the crisis in the Caucasus provided an appropriate backdrop.

“Biden owes his selection to (Russian Prime Minister Vladimir) Putin,” said French analyst Dominique Moisi. “Russia's invasion of Georgia reinforced the American worry about international tensions.”

The North America editor for the British Broadcasting Corp., Justin Webb, said Biden was “Putin's contribution to American politics – he is a necessary antidote to the Obama lack of worldly wisdom, which before Georgia was a bit academic to most Americans.”

Webb said Republican presidential candidate John McCain had acquitted himself well during the Russian invasion of Georgia this month.

Biden's selection drew mixed reviews Saturday in Iraq because of his call two years ago to divide the country into autonomous regions along sectarian and ethnic lines. The proposal, made in a 2006 op-ed article in The New York Times, drew sharp criticism, especially from Sunni Arabs who opposed autonomy provisions that were written into the Iraqi constitution in 2005.

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