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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa Will be India's Chief Guest for Republic Day 2019

In April, India had extended the invitation to the US President Donald Trump to be the chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations. But the POTUS turned down the invitation.


Updated:December 2, 2018, 12:01 AM IST

New Delhi: South African President has accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to be the chief guest on India’s Republic Day in January 2019. The celebrations are held every year at Rajpath before the President of India.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday met South African President Cyril Ramaphosa on the sidelines of the G-20 summit here and invited him to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations next year, which also marks the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.

"Glad to have met President @CyrilRamaphosa. At a time when India is marking the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, it is our honour to welcome President Ramaphosa as the Chief Guest for the 2019 Republic Day celebrations. Bapu's close link with South Africa is well known," Modi tweeted after the meeting.

He said Ramaphosa's visit to India will further cement bilateral ties between the two countries.

"The upcoming visit of President @CyrilRamaphosa, and that too during the special occasion of India's Republic Day will further cement business and people-to-people ties between India and South Africa," Modi tweeted.

Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale confirmed that South African President Ramaphosa has accepted the invite. "The PM had a number of bilateral engagements this morning. Argentina PM is keen to make a visit to India in 2019. PM extended invitation to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to be the chief guest for India's Republic Day in 2019 & Ramaphosa accepted," the foreign secretary said.

In April, India had extended the invitation to US President Donald Trump to be the chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations, but Trump had turned down the invitation.

The US president's "domestic commitments", including his State of the Union address, around that time seemed to have been the reason for declining the invitation. In the letter, Trump was said to have regretted his inability to accept the invitation.

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