US President Donald Trump has turned down India’s request to attend its 70th Republic Day celebrations in 2019. The decision was communicated by US authorities in a letter to National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, as per reports. India was confident that Trump would attend but now New Delhi will have to look elsewhere to find a chief guest for the R-day ceremony.
US in August said that it got an invitation from the Indian authorities but a decision was not taken then. However, the decision was communicated to Indian authorities recently with only three months left the ceremony.
According to sources, Trump administration turned down the Republic Day invite as 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.