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'Madam President, it's got a nice ring to it'
Aziz Haniffa in Washington DC | February 23, 2006 00:39 IST
In the opening remarks of his address to the Asia Society on the eve of his trip to South Asia, President George W Bush, after thanking Vishaka Desai, president of Asia Society for the introduction, looking toward the front row of South Asian diplomats invited to listen to his speech, said, "I appreciate the members of the diplomatic corps that have joined us today, in particular Ambassador (Ronen) Sen from India, (and) Ambassador (Jahangir) Karamat from Pakistan."
So seated in that front row, was the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indian embassy and charge d'affaires, Raminder Singh Jassal in a bright blue turban. He was seen, after Bush's speech, shaking hands with the President when the latter did a quick exchange of greetings with the South Asian diplomats assembled before the Secret Service whisked him away.
"As an Indian by birth, now a proud citizen of the United States, both parts of me live happily as president of the Asia Society," Desai said, and added, "We are deeply honoured that you have chosen Asia Society to make what we know will be an important speech heard around the world, most likely live, especially in South Asia."