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Published On: Sun, Dec 2nd, 2018

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to be India’s Chief Guest for Republic Day celebrations

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Sa PresidentNEW 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.

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.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson took to Twitter and said, “150 years of Mahatma & 100 years of Madiba! Good meeting between PM @narendramodi & South Africa President @CyrilRamaphosa on margins of #G20Summit. President Ramaphosa accepted India’s invitation to be the Chief Guest at Republic Day during 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi.”

The announcement comes more than a month after the US President Donald Trump declined India’s invitation to be the chief guest at Republic Day. A White House spokesperson had said, “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.”
(With Agency Inputs ).

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