US woos Ruto with starry state dinner

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US woos Ruto with starry state dinner
President Ruto raised a toast and pledged a firm stance for democracy in Africa

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden ensured no expense was spared in honouring Kenya, one of their closest allies in sub-Saharan Africa.

BBC | The White House pulled out all the stops for Kenya's President William Ruto and his wife Rachel with a State Dinner that included celebrity guests, a succulent menu and electric performances.

US President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden ensured no expense was spared in honouring Kenya, one of their closest allies in sub-Saharan Africa.

The Kenya first couple were accompanied by three of their daughters and were all pictured on the red carpet ahead of the evening's entertainments - as seen above.

The Kenya first couple was accompanied by three of their daughters and were all pictured on the red carpet.

State Dinners are organised by the first lady and her staff and involve much pomp and circumstance.

The invitation list, menu, flowers - all pink orchids and red roses for Thursday - and table settings are all meticulously planned.

The US Vice-President Harris was accompanied by second gentleman Douglas C Emhoff

It was also a chance to see great fashion, here US Vice-President Kamala Harris dazzled in a green ensemble and other guests chose an African theme:

The black-tie event was a star-studded affair with celebrities from the screen such as Black Panther actress Danai Gurira, who is from Zimbabwe, and LeVar Burton, who made his name playing Kunta Kinte in Roots.

President Barrack Obama made a surprise appearance

Former President Bill Clinton and his wife Hillary were also there - and ex-President Barack Obama, whose father was Kenyan, swooped in with a surprise appearance.

Minnesota politician Ilhan Omar, who was born in Somalia, was also in attendance.

US Representative Ilhan Omar was accompanied by her husband Tim Mynett

The mouth-watering menu, which primarily showcased American cuisine leaving little room for Kenyan food, included short ribs, lobster and sweet corn.

America's influence on the African continent has been waning in recent years, with countries moving towards China, Russia and Iran. But during this trip, the East African nation has been given the status of non-Nato ally by the US.

In his toast, President Ruto said: "We proudly take a firm stance, shoulder to shoulder, for democracy in a world where troubles have shaken the faith of men."

The mouth-watering menu included short ribs, lobster and sweet corn primarily American cuisine leaving little room for Kenyan food.

Performances from country singer Brad Paisley and the gospel choir of Howard University enchanted the guests.

This might have been a nod to President Ruto who not only likes country music but is Kenya's first evangelical Christian president.

 

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