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McCain to attend 1st debate with Obama
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US President George W. Bush (C) meets with Bicameral and Bipartisan Members of Congress to discuss a Wall Street bailout plan in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, September 25, 2008. Bush is joined by (L-R) Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ), Minority House leader John Boehner (R-OH), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Majority leader Senator Harry reid (D-NV), House Minority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL).[Xinhua/Reuters Photo] 

John McCain's campaign said Friday the US Republican presidential nominee will attend his first debate with Democratic opponent Barack Obama at Oxford, Mississippi on Friday night.

McCain said Wednesday he would not attend the debate if an agreement had not been reached on a 700-billion-US-dollar bailout plan for Wall Street.

Campaign staff talk at the stage for the first 2008 US presidential campaign debate between the Democratic and Republican presidential nominees in Oxford, Mississippi, September 25, 2008. Preparations continue for the first debate despite a call from Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain to postpone the debate with Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama because of the financial crisis.[Xinhua/Reuters Photo]  

The outcome was up in the air Friday as lawmakers scrambled to agree on a plan.

But by midday, McCain's campaign said the Republican presidential nominee believed enough progress had been made for him to travel to Mississippi to participate in the debate, set for 9 p.m. Eastern Time (100 GMT Saturday) at the University of Mississippi campus in Oxford.

"The McCain campaign is resuming all activities and the senator will travel to the debate this afternoon," it said in a statement.

Both presidential candidates returned to Washington last Thursday to participate in talks over the bailout package.

The debate is expected to focus on foreign policy and national security, but the economic crisis is likely to be a dominant issue as well.

Debate planners got a big surprise when McCain called for postponing it.

Obama's campaign had argued over the past couple of days that both attending the presidential debate and working on the bailout plan could be accomplished and the event should go on.

(Xinhua News Agency September 27, 2008)

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