India invites Donald Trump as Chief Guest for 2019 Republic Day celebrations

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US President Donald Trump has been invited by the Indian Government to be chief guest at next year’s Republic Day celebrations, a report stated.

In response to the invite sent in April, the Trump administration said they have been ‘favorably’ considering it, reported The Times of India.

In 2015, the NDA government had hosted then US President Barack Obama during its celebrations. In 2016, (now former) French president Francois Hollande had been invited as the Chief Guest while in 2017, the Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was the guest.

This year, 10 leaders of ASEAN countries; Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar (Burma), Cambodia, Laos and Brunei were invited for the Republic Day celebrations.

The invite to the Trump administration comes amidst growing pressure on India’s ties with Iran, the US trade tarriff war and New Delhi’s proposed deal over S-400 defense missile system with Russia.

Earlier, tensions escalated after the proposed 2+2 talks were cancelled by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Pompeo expressed his “regret and deep disappointment” to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj over the phone. The meet will be rescheduled at a later date.

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