India Invites Trump to be Chief Guest at 2019 Republic Day Parade: Report

Indian government has reportedly invited U.S. President Donald Trump to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi in 2019.


The Indian government has invited United States President Donald Trump to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi in 2019, the Times of India reported. India’s invitation is being considered “favourably” by the Trump administration, the report added.

India is, however, still awaiting a response from the U.S. government to the invitation that was sent in April this year. The invite was reportedly sent after several rounds of diplomatic talks between the two countries.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has earlier invited several high-profile global politicians for the occasion since his Bharatiya Janata Party government came into power in 2014. While former U.S. President Barack Obama was the chief guest for the Jan. 26 event in 2015, the following year saw former French President Francois Hollande witnessing the parade. In 2017, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan visited India for the Republic Day celebrations. The event this year was attended by 10 leaders from ASEAN countries — Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Brunei.

Trump’s visit to India, if he accepts the invitation, will be eagerly watched since the two countries have been experiencing differences over various issues, including trade tariffs, U.S. immigration policies, and defense ties. America’s pressure upon India to curtail its crude oil import from Iran has recently further strained the relations between both the nations. India is hoping for a waiver from the sanctions that the United States is threatening to impose on countries that import crude from Iran.

American lawmakers are trying to get a waiver for India from sanctions for its plan to buy long-range S-400 air defence system from Russia in a Rs 40,000-crore deal, PTI reported. At the request of U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, U.S. senators are working to get a waiver for India from the punitive Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions ACT (CAATSA), through which sanctions are placed on countries that purchase significant military equipment from Russia, according to the news agency.

In a letter written to Senator John McCain, who chairs the committee, Mattis has urged for a legislative waiver for India, Republican Senator Dan Sullivan, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on July 12. During the Annual Leadership Summit of the US India Strategic and Partnership Forum (USISPF) in Washington, Sullivan and Democratic Senator Mark Warner, who is the vice chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, said that the lawmakers are keen to find a way to balance India’s old ties and defense relationship with Russia, the report added.

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