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South Africa President to be Republic Day Chief Guest After Trump Turns Down India: Report

The move to invite Ramaphosa also coincides with Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary and the Indian government extended an invitation to the leader to mark the celebrations.

News18.com

Updated:November 15, 2018, 9:35 AM IST
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South Africa President to be Republic Day Chief Guest After Trump Turns Down India: Report
File photo of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. (Photo: REUTERS)
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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has accepted the invitation to be the chief guest at next year’s Republic Day parade, Indian Express reported on Thursday.

This comes after the US President Donald Trump turned down the invitation citing scheduling constraints in a big embarrassment for the government.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited President Trump for a bilateral visit to India during their talks in Washington last year. "President Trump was honoured by Prime Minister Modi's invitation for him to be Chief Guest of India's Republic Day on January 26, 2019 but is unable to participate due to scheduling constraints," a White House spokesperson had said when asked about Trump's decision on Modi's invitation.

It is believed that the annual State of the Union (SOTU) address to both Houses of the US Congress by Trump is likely to be around the time India will celebrate its Republic Day.

Ramphosa, who assumed power in February this year, is a staunch follower of Mahatma Gandhi. PM Modi had met Ramaphosa at the BRICS Summit in Johannisberg, South Africa in June this year where he extended his invitation to the South African president, Indian Express quoted sources as saying.

The move to invite Ramaphosa also coincides with Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary and the Indian government extended an invitation to the leader to mark the celebrations.
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