Washington, Sept.26 : The dinner hosted by US President George W Bush for visiting Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh on Thursday, it seems, was very nice and tasty.
Foreign Secretary Shiv Shankar Menon told the Indian media that the fish served was particularly tasty.
"It was very nice food. Perhaps fish," said Menon
When asked whether the dinner at the White House was a working one, and who all were present?, Menon said:"No, there were no speeches. It was not a very formal dinner. On the US side, Vice President Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Secretary of State, Ambassador Mulford, William Burns, National Security Adviser, Mr. Hadley, Secretary for Education Margaret Spellings, USTR Susan Schwab and two other state department officials were present. On our side Deputy Chairman Planning Commission (Montek Singh Alhuwalia), NSA (M.K. Narayanan), Special Envoy to PM (Shyam Saran) , Foreign Secretary (Menon), JS (Americas) and a couple of other officials from PMO. It was a small dinner and very relaxed one."
"It was a very warm and friendly meeting. They both (Bush and Singh) naturally reviewed what they had achieved in terms of transforming Indo-US relations since July 18, 2005 when the Joint statement had laid out the vision of how they wanted to take the relations forward," he said.
"It was a small dinner in the old family dinner room of the White House. There were some discussions and it came out very strongly that both leaders had a very firm faith in the importance of this relationship. But not only in the region but more also in the larger global context whether it is energy, or other crucial issues like that the environment for instance." There was some discussion that how we could move forward in this direction. This was very positive meeting. We were very satisfied with the manner of the meeting and what was covered. Everything that we wanted to do and achieve was done, butaturally there was something of a valedictory tone to it as probably it was the last time President Bush was in White House that PM was visiting," Menon said. y Naveen Kapoor