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Roberts, Spillberg to attend Krishna reception

`Pretty Woman` fame star Julia Roberts and sci-fi `Jurassic Park` director Steven Spielberg would be among chosen few to grace a gala reception in honour of External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and the Indian delegation.



Washington: `Pretty Woman` fame star Julia Roberts and sci-fi `Jurassic Park` director Steven Spielberg would be among chosen few to grace a gala reception in honour
of External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and the Indian delegation, where President Barack Obama would drop by.

Also present in the reception at the Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department to be hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would be some popular
tennis stars.

Knowing that Krishna is an avid tennis player, Clinton made it a point to invite some top tennis stars, sources said.

Obama would himself attend the reception in a rare good will 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 US corporate leadership.

The colourful event would herald the start of the first ever strategic dialogue between America and India.

"Tomorrow will be a significant day as we 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 second time that the Americans are unrolling a red carpet for the Indians, after the famous White House lawn dinner hosted by the Obamas in honour of Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh last year.

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 of the Indo-US ties.

Several key Indian-American members of the Obama Administration too would be attending the reception.
Meanwhile, The Washington Post said that the Obama Administration has emphasised 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.

"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 Clinton will host for the Indian
delegation," said the Post.

PTI

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