Obama, Julia Roberts, Spielberg to attend Krishna's reception
Actress Julia Roberts and director Steven Spielberg would be among the chosen few who will grace a gala reception in honour of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and the Indian delegation in Washington on Thursday evening.
Also present in the reception at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department, to be hosted by United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, will be some popular tennis stars. After learning that Krishna is an avid tennis player, Clinton made it a point to invite some top tennis stars, sources said.
President Barack Obama will himself attend the reception in a rare goodwill gesture towards India. Billed by the State Department as a 'major event', the American hosts have also called eminent Indian-Americans from across US as well as the corporate leadership of the country.
Image: Julia Roberts
Photographs: Mario Anzuoni/Reuters
First ever strategic dialogue between America and India
The colourful event will herald the start of the first ever strategic dialogue between America and India.
"Tomorrow will be a significant day as we will have intensive, wide-ranging discussions with a broad range of cabinet officials and a large Indian delegation," State Department spokesman P J Crowley told reporters.
This is the second time that the Americans are unrolling a red carpet for the Indian leadership, after the famous White House lawn dinner hosted by the Obamas in honour of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh last year.
Image: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with External Affairs Minister S M Krishna
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters
'Whole of government' sessions
Clinton has always attached great significance in building people to people relationship and has acknowledged the important role played by the vibrant Indian-American community in deepening Indo-US ties. Several key Indian-American members of the Obama administration will attend the reception.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post said that the Obama administration has emphasised that the Indo-US strategic dialogue is more akin to the 'whole of government' sessions Clinton held this spring in China and Brazil, and not like Afghanistan and Pakistan, where terrorism and security issues dominated the proceedings.
Image: US President Barack Obama
Photographs: Jason Reed/Reuters
White House has put considerable effort into wooing India
"The White House has put considerable effort into wooing India, which it sees as a potentially major international trade and security partner," the daily reported.
"In a symbolic gesture not extended to Afghanistan or Pakistan, the President will go to the State Department on Thursday for a reception that Clinton will host for the Indian delegation," said the Post.
Image: Director Steven Spielberg
Photographs: Phil McCarten/Reuters