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Delhi encounter with Obama party crashers

delhi Updated: Nov 28, 2009 08:51 IST
Ajai Masand
Ajai Masand
Hindustan Times
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On July 4, American Independence Day, Tareq Salahi was an honoured guest of the United States embassy here.

Salahi, the man who crashed US President Barack Obama’s state dinner for PM Manmohan Singh on Tuesday, was in town as captain of the US polo team.

Salahi was introduced to everyone by the US Charge d’Affaires, Peter Burleigh, at the American Center event. He later spoke of the need for closer India-US “military and diplomatic ties”, his love for polo and of Tiger Woods being “a dear friend”.

While wife Michaele (his fellow gatecrasher at the White House bash) played the gracious host, Salahi — a glass of red wine permanently attached to his hand — interacted with a chosen few.

“The America’s Cup Polo is a historic and diplomatic tradition. Next year, on June 11-12, we will host the Indian national team and make it memorable for both countries,” he stated.

Salahi was the toast of the evening, indicating that the Virginia vintner was well known in diplomat circles.

He told HT he planned to unfurl “the biggest ever India flag” in DC on June 11, which would be followed by a flypast by the elite Blue Angels (the US Navy’s aerobatic squadron).

“The flag will go down in the Guinness Book of Records as the biggest. We celebrate the America’s Cup in grand style. There will be fashion shows, rock concerts and celebrity dinners, not to forget the match,” he stated.

We’re not too sure about the fate of those celebrity dinners now.