US Senator John McCain, the former Republican presidential hopeful, has arrived in Malta for a two-day visit during which he will be meeting the Prime Minister.

He flew in from Afghanistan on a US government Boeing 737 accompanied by Senators Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham. All are members of the US Senate Armed Services Committee.

They had talks yesterday with President Hamid Karzai and have been asked to brief President-elect Barack Obama on their return to the United States later this week.

They also visited India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

In Malta, the senators are expected to discuss US-Malta relations, the situation in the Mediterranean and the Middle East and the war on terrorism.

They left the airport in a convoy of cars and are dining in St Julians.

The former Republican presidential hopeful visited the southern Afghan province of Helmand, where he promised that the US would send more troops, although he warned the situation could get more difficult, before it got better, as had happened in Iraq.

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