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Decoding the different hues of White House welcomes, from State dinner to a simple cup of coffee.

Only select leaders experience the fashion and flair of a state dinner

As US President Barack Obama prepares to welcome UK leader David Cameron, the BBC’s Katie Connolly, in Washington, decodes the different hues of White House welcomes.

In foreign affairs, like most political arenas, appearances matter. Dignitaries engage in delicate shuffles – being seen with the right people, bending the ears of the powerful – to cement perceptions of their influence.

Few leaders understand these elaborate dances better than US presidents, and lucky for them they have a few tricks up their sleeve to charm and flatter – or cajole and cool – their international peers.

From glamorous state dinners and trips to Camp David, to a humble coffee in the Oval Office, every step of a foreign leader’s visit to Washington is carefully orchestrated to send pertinent signals to audiences at home and abroad.Press photographers captured Mr Obama’s Oval Office meeting with Saudi King Abdullah in June

The Oval Office Meeting is standard fare for a visit by a head of government. The meetings usually last less than an hour, and are…READ MORE HERE.