Mango diplomacy was in full flow with the arrival of Indian mangoes in the American market after nearly two decades, an event hailed by the US as an "important step" to bolster bilateral trade.
A year after the mango initiative was launched by President George W Bush and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the first consignment of Alphonso and Kesari mangoes that landed in Washington on Tuesday tickled the palate of top American officials, who said it represented more than just a market opening for the fruit.
An excited US Trade Representative Susan Schwab said "The Indian mangoes I enjoyed today represent more than just a market opening for one product." During his visit to India in March 2006, Bush had expressed a keen desire to have Indian mangoes.
The officials said the Indian mango exports signals the resolve of both sides to forge stronger trade ties and create significant new economic opportunities for the people of the two countries.
President of the US-India Business Council (USIBC) Ron Somers describing the arrival of the king of fruits as a 'joyous occasion' says, the "US willingness to purchase Indian mangoes is another important step towards deeper engagement and more robust US-India trade".
At a press conference at the Embassy of India where the visiting Indian Foreign Secretary Shivshanker Menon was present, ambassador Ronen Sen spoke of the mangoes' issue as a symbolic and substantive move in bilateral relations.
Symbolically, Sen argued it was emblematic of the relationship between the two countries.