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State dinner for PM creates media frenzy

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Washington, DC: A host of Indian leaders have dined at the majestic White House in the past, but the State dinner for Manmohan Singh has received an unprecedented pre-event media coverage being the first such event of the Obama Administration.

American media has gone all-out to focus on it from all angles, speculating about the menu, the guest list and highlighting that President Barack Obama’s gesture for India’s growing stature.

A total of 320 guests have been invited to the “black tie” event, ABC reported.

The invitation card reads: “The President and Mrs. Obama request the pleasure of the company of Mr. _____ at a dinner in honor of His Excellency Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of the Republic of India, and Mrs. Gursharan Kaur, to be held at The White House on November 24, at seven o’clock.”

The White House says that the formality of the dinner, the size and the fact that India is the first to be honored with an official State dinner and the visit is an indication of the importance placed within the administration on their relationship with the nation, ABC news reported.

“The President and First Lady will host their first State dinner after almost a year into their White House tenure — and after honing their hospitality skills with a governors’ dinner, assorted luncheons and countless receptions.  The leaders of the world’s two largest democracies will have an opportunity to bond in black tie,” The Washington Post said.