Washington: Pledging a new era of engagement
with the world, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle
Obama served 'chicken samosa' among other mouthwatering dishes
at a White House reception hosted for scores of ambassadors
including new Indian envoy to the US Meera Shankar.
Diplomacy has always been critically important to all
nations, Obama said with Michelle Obama at his side. But in
many ways, it grows more important with each passing year
because the interconnectedness of this world means that in the
21st century, "we cannot solve our problems until we solve
them together," Obama said.
Noting that for centuries diplomats have come together to
discuss war and peace, commerce and exchange, Obama said that
now it is hard to think of an issue that matters to people
that does not depend in some way upon cooperation among
nations -- health and education, energy and the environment,
the arts and even athletics.
"That's one reason why I came into office with a strong
commitment to renew American diplomacy and to start a new era
of engagement with the world," Obama said.
It was splashy affair, held under the chandelier glint of
the Grand Foyer, replete with champagne and the music of the
Marine String Ensemble. Musicians performed a handful of light
jazz songs including Shadow of Your Smile and Come Back to
Waiters bore trays of tequila smoked salmon on crisps,
'chicken samosas' with yogurt dip, leek tartlets, petit filet
mignon sandwiches, crme brulee and blueberry vanilla
One of the wonderful things about America is that so much
of the world is represented in our own cities and towns, the
First Lady said. "Whether you have been here for years, or
whether this is your first time in the White House, I hope you
feel welcome," she said.
"I look forward to working together to advance peace and
prosperity of the people not only of the United States but
also people all around the world," she said.
Also in attendance were Susan Rice, the US Ambassador to
the United Nations and US Trade Representative Ron Kirk.
First Published: Tuesday, July 28, 2009, 12:14