India, US in touch over invite to Trump

Key points
  • The date, time, and occasion of the visit are still being considered.
  • Trump administration has been pushing for deeper strategic cooperation with India.
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Prime minister Narendra Modi had invited president Trump for a bilateral visit to India during their talks in Washington in June 2017 | File Photo
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New Delhi: India and the US are in touch over India's invite to president Donald Trump to visit the country, and the date, time and occasion of the possible trip are under consideration, official sources said on Thursday.

The sources indicated that India was not looking exclusively at his presence at the Republic Day celebrations as the chief guest and that various other options are also being explored.

"The date, time, and occasion of the visit are still being considered," said an official source.

India extended an invitation to the US president to visit the country and the option of his gracing the Republic Day celebrations as the chief guest was explored during meetings between the two sides,” they added.

Last week, White House Press secretary Sarah Sanders said that Trump has received an invitation to visit India, but no decision has been taken yet.

"I know that the invitation has been extended, but I do not believe that a final decision has been made," Sanders told reporters when asked whether Modi has invited Trump to be the chief guest at the next year's Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi.

Prime minister Narendra Modi had invited president Trump for a bilateral visit to India during their talks in Washington in June 2017. If Trump accepts the invitation, it is expected to give a major boost to ties between the two strategic partners in key areas of defence, security, and trade.

The Trump administration has been pushing for deeper strategic cooperation with India, particularly in the Indo-Pacific region where China was expanding its influence.

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 American president.

This year, leaders from 10 ASEAN countries had attended the Republic Day celebrations.

The heads of state and government who have attended the India's Republic Day celebrations include Nicolas Sarkozy, Vladimir Putin, Nelson Mandela, John Major, Mohammed Khatami, and Jacques Chirac.

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