Pledging a new era of engagement with the world, US 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 Sorrento.