Days After Trump Declined Republic Day Visit, India Says In Talks With US

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Every year, India invites world leaders to attend its Republic Day celebrations. (File)

New Delhi:

India on Thursday said it was engaged with the US to decide when President Donald Trump can visit the country, days after he declined an invite to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations citing scheduling issues.

Spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry (MEA) Raveesh Kumar said high-level exchanges are integral part of the strategic partnership between the two countries, and both sides are engaged in discussions on when Trump can visit India.

"Both India and the US are in talks to decide when President Trump can come to India," Kumar said at a media briefing.

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He was asked about the US President turning down India's invite to grace next year's Republic Day celebrations as chief guest. The White House has said President Trump's inability to participate was a "purely scheduling issue".

Earlier this week, a White House spokesperson, when asked about President Trump's decision, had said, "President Trump was honoured by Prime Minister Modi's invitation to him to be the chief guest of India's Republic Day on January 26, 2019, but is unable to participate due to scheduling constraints."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited President Trump to visit India during their talks in Washington in June 2017.

Every year, India invites world leaders to attend its Republic Day celebrations.

In 2015, the then US president Barack Obama had attended it as the chief guest, which was his second visit to India as the American president.

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