The United States on Wednesday confirmed that President Donald Trump had been invited to visit India for next year’s Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi, but said no decision on his visit to India had been taken yet.
“I know that the invitation has been extended, but I do not believe that a final decision has been made,” the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters when asked about reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited President Trump to be the Chief Guest at Republic Day celebrations in 2019.
Talking about the crucial India-US 2+2 Dialogue, Sanders said the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis would be headed to New Delhi soon for the first India-US 2+2 Dialogue with their Indian counterparts External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
“The 2+2 dialogue would begin discussion on the process of a presidential visit next year,” Sanders said at the daily press conference, adding that “the United States and India have a deep and strategic partnership and we are going to continue to build on that partnership and advance co-operation.”
She also said the meeting was likely to take place in September this year. “I think, you will see that in the meeting that would take place in September,” Sanders said.
The invitation to attend the R-day celebration to Trump was reportedly extended in April this year. Narendra Modi-government’s first Republic Day event in 2015 had the then US President Barack Obama as the chief guest.