Donald Trump declines Republic Day invite, cites ‘scheduling constraints’
White House confirmed that US President Donald Trump is unable to participate as the chief guest of India’s Republic Day celebrations next year due to scheduling constraints. As already known that Prime Minister Narendra Modi during Washington visit last year invited President Trump for a bilateral visit to India.
In July White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that Trump has received an invitation to visit India, but no decision has been taken yet.
“President Trump was honored by Prime Minister Modi’s invitation for him to be the chief guest of India’s Republic Day on January 26, 2019, but is unable to participate due to scheduling constraints,” a White House spokesperson told.
“The President enjoys a strong personal rapport with Prime Minister Modi developed through two meetings and several phone calls and remains committed to deepening the US-India strategic partnership,” the spokesperson said.
“The President very much looks forward to meeting Prime Minister Modi again at the earliest opportunity,” the White House spokesperson said.
It is said that Donald Trump should address both the houses in the annual State of the Union (SOTU) which is likely to be in the last week of January or first week of February around the time India will celebrate its Republic Day. But Trump’s decision comes at a time when there have been differences between the two countries over India’s defense deal with Russia and purchase of oil from Iran.
Every year, India invites world leaders to attend its Republic Day celebrations. In 2015, the then US president Barack Obama had attended it as the chief guest which was his second visit to India as the American president.