Trump Rejects Republic Day Invite, Cites "Scheduling Constraints"

Trump Rejects Republic Day Invite, Cites "Scheduling Constraints"

Trump Rejects Republic Day Invite, Cites "Scheduling Constraints"

New Delhi: For the first time, the White House has officially commented that the president of the United States Donald Trump's decision to turn down PM Modi's invite to India's Republic Day as chief guest.

The spokesperson of the White House told NDTV that POTUS couldn't accept the invite because of scheduling constraints.

"President Trump was honored 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," the spokesperson said.

"The President enjoys a strong personal rapport with Prime Minister Modi developed through two meetings and several phone calls and remains committed to deepening the U.S.-India strategic partnership. The President very much looks forward to meeting Prime Minister Modi again at the earliest opportunity."

Also Read: Reports Say, India Looks At Alternatives As Trump Rejects Republic Day Invite

Earlier, India had invited President Trump and had he accepted, saying that he would have been the second US president to come for Republic Day. The former President of the United States, Barack Obama visited India twice and was chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations on his second visit in 2015, a year after PM Modi came to power.

Mr Trump's decision comes at a time there have been differences India and the US, over India's defence purchases from Russia and oil imports from Iran.

Despite US sanctions, India buying oil from Iran on the oil-producing nation did not go well with the Trump administration.

The Modi government also decided, despite the threat of US action, to buy the Russian S-400 long-range missile system, which America considers is within the scope of the CAATSA.

Arguably the world's deadliest surface-to-air missile, the S-400 missile system is believed by the US believes the weapon can bring imbalance on the battlefield if it falls in wrong hands. The missile deployment by Russia in Syria is seen as a threat to the West.

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