Obama administration puts on the glitz for Manmohan Singh

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Washington, Nov 24(ANI): Visiting Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh will be greeted by the Obama administration for the first State Guest dinner of his presidency on Tuesday with a red-carpet welcome and a 21-gun salute.

The glittering state dinner, the first since the Obamas moved into the White House, would reflect the administration's priorities and the way it wants to be seen by the world.

The grandeur attached to the event will be in contrast to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visit last month, which didn't even get the usual Oval Office photo opportunity.

"I think this is very appropriate, and no one in Pakistan and no one in any other country should read this in any way as a diminution of the importance we attach to them," The Globe and Mail quoted Richard Holbrooke, U.S special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, saying.

"Someone has to have the first trip ... a state dinner, a state visit is a big deal, different level of intensity, and President Obama thought this was the right way to go, and we're thrilled," he added.

The big prize - far bigger than the glitter of a state dinner - will be if Obama announces that he wants India to have a permanent seat, albeit without a veto, on the UN Security Council.

The State Dinner is scheduled soon after his ceremonial welcome at the White House, the first meeting between the two leaders in the United States and a press conference.

The visit to Washington is expected to highlight the strong and growing strategic partnership between the United States and India, and the friendship between the American and Indian people. (ANI)

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