Washington: US President Donald Trump will host his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron for his first state dinner in April, the White House said today.
“Yes. I can confirm that that will be the first state visit,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters at her daily news conference. She said the dates were being finalised. Trump is likely to host Macron for a state dinner on April 24, Fox News said quoting two unnamed White House officials.
A state dinner includes a formal welcome to the White House, a 21-gun salute and a formal dinner along with a joint news conference. Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama hosted his first state dinner for the then Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in November 2009.
Singh along with Indira Gandhi (1971 and 1982) are the only two Indian prime ministers to have been hosted twice for the US state sinner. The then US President George W Bush hosted Singh for a state dinner in July 2005. The last state dinner of President Bill Clinton was the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2000.
Ronald Regan hosted two Indian prime ministers – Indira Gandhi in 1982 and her son Rajiv Gandhi in 1985 — for the state dinner. Benazir Bhutto was the last Pakistani Prime Minister to have received a state dinner from a US President in 1989.