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Donald Trump turns down India’s invitation for Republic Day

US President Donald Trump has turned down India’s invitation to be the chief guest during the Republic Day Parade. This comes at a time when relations between the countries are not in the best of health.

The US had recently issued warning against India if it goes ahead with signing the S-400 missile system deal with Russia. India signed the deal for five such systems when Russian President Vladimir Putin visited India earlier this month.
HIGHLIGHTS
Donald Trump was invited to be chief guest of the Republic Day Parade.
His refusal comes as a major setback for the Modi government
US has been unhappy with India signing S-400 missile deal with Russia
Besides this, the Trump administration has been threatening India with sanctions if it continues to procure oil from Iran. India continues to import oil from Iran.

India Today TV has learnt that the reason cited by the Trump administration to turn down the Republic Day invite is that President Trump has other pressing engagement on the same date. Trump reportedly has to deliver the State of The Union (SOTU) address and its timing conflicts with the Republic Day celebrations.

However, in 2015, when the then US President Barack Obama visited India for Republic Day, the date of the SOTU address was postponed. The date of the address is not fixed and but has to be made between January 22 and the first week of February.

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With Trump declining India’s invite, the Modi government will now have to look for some other head of state who can be invited as the chief gust for Republic Day. But after Trump’s refusal, it is unlikely that any other key world leader will accept the invitation.

In 2016, French President Francois Hollande was the chief guest of the parade while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the chief guest at the celebrations in 2014.

The heads of state and government who have attended the Republic Day celebrations include Nicolas Sarkozy, Vladimir Putin, Nelson Mandela, John Major, Mohammed Khatami and Jacques Chirac.