Barack Obama hosts dinner for Narendra Modi; Michelle Obama gives it a miss

Written by PTI | Washington | Updated: Sep 30 2014, 15:04pm hrs
President Barack Obama today hosted a private dinner for Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the White House here, ahead of their summit level talks.

Modi was welcomed by Obama who greeted him in Gujarati, "Kem Chho" (how are you), the mother tongue of the Prime Minister.

Set in an informal ambiance, the dinner is the first opportunity for both the leaders to interact with each other.

First Lady Michelle Obama, however, gave the dinner a miss.

Both the leaders were joined by 20 attendees at the dinner. The President was joined by Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and National Security Advisor Susan Rice among others.

Modi was accompanied by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Indian Ambassador to the US, S Jaishankar among others.


As Obama hosted Modi for dinner, the local Indian- Americans celebrated the Modi-Obama meeting by organizing a cultural event and performing "Garbha" dance in front of the White House.

A small group of Kashmir separatists and Sikh separatists also held a protest outside the White House building, but they were far out numbered by the pro-Modi supporters.

There was an unprecedented level of security in and around the White House and Blair House, the official guest house of the US President, in view of the two recent security breaches.

The Pennsylvania Avenue was closed for most part in the evening and the pro-Modi group and anti-India protesters were pushed far behind when the motorcade crossed the avenue on its way to the White House.

Obama received Modi at the South Gate of the White House and the dinner was held in Blue Room of the President's official residence.

The Blue Room is used for receptions and receiving lines, and is occasionally set for small dinners.