US President Trump likely to become India’s 2019 Republic Day chief guest

New Delhi: In the most likelihood, US President Donald Trump will be chief guest at the 2019 Republic Day parade in India.
Though the Ministry of External Affairs has not officially confirmed about the expected visit of the US President to become the chief guest at the Republic Day function, but various sources say that Trump had accepted an invitation to visit India after it was extended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to the US in June 2017.
It was Modi’s first US visit after Trump was sworn-in as the US President on January 20, 2017. People close to the development say that date and schedule of the presidential visit are being worked out through diplomatic channels.
Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump, seen as the President’s adviser, had travelled to India in September 2017 as head of the US delegation for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit at Prime Minister Modi’s invitation.
Experts suggest that the invitation to Trump to become chief guest at the Republic Day function may have been extended to iron out differences between the two countries which have cropped up over trade tariff, changes in the US’ visa regime, Washington’s reservation over India’s plan to acquire Russian made S-400 Trumf missile system and New Delhi’s keenness to buy crude oil from Iran despite US sanctions.
Political observers feel that if Donald Trump accepts invitation to attend the Republic Day celebrations in 2019, it will have an impact on domestic politics, especially when the parliamentary polls will be held a few months after the US President’s likely visit.

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