#RepublicDay: Top African leader may attend celebrations after Trump's snubLast updated on Nov 10, 2018, 12:56 pm
Days after President of United States Donald Trump said he would not attend India's Republic Day event on January 26 due to prior commitments, India may have finalized the new chief guest.
According to an HT report, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa may be invited to the ceremony.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi would make the announcement on Twitter, the report added.
Trump was never invited formally, source claims
Two people, privy to the development independently, said four leaders were on the shortlist and Trump was never a part of it.
One claimed informal invitations were extended to POTUS but a formal one was never sent.
Further, the person claimed the chief guest would be someone of global stature and from a country which holds importance for India.
From Obama to Abe and Hollande, everyone has attended R-Day
This time the idea is to invite someone from an area that is unrepresented, sources added.
For his first Republic Day event after being elected, PM Modi invited former US President Barack Obama.
Japan PM Shinzo Abe, Bhutan's King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuk, former French President Francois Hollande, and UAE Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan have attended the event in recent years.
Why Africa is important for India
Since most countries' representatives have been invited, India may turn towards Africa or South America this time.
Notably, India has expanded its outreach in African countries to counter China's growing influence in the continent.
India has given $8 billion to African countries for the development of agriculture, infrastructure, clean energy etc. The 44 countries on the continent could also help India become UN Security Council's permanent member.