Narendra Modi and Donald Trump

US president Donald Trump will not be attending India’s Republic Day celebrations next year due to scheduling constraints, the White House has said.

The annual State of the Union address, an annual message presented by the president of the United States to a joint session of the United States Congress, is expected to be around the time India will celebrate its Republic Day.

Prime minister Narendra Modi had invited Trump for a bilateral visit to India during their talks in Washington last year. In July, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Trump has received an invitation to visit India, but no decision has been taken yet.

“President Trump was honoured by prime minister Modi’s invitation for him to be Chief Guest of India’s Republic Day on January 26, 2019, but is unable to participate due to scheduling constraints,” a White House spokesperson told Press Trust of India on Monday (29).

The spokesperson said that Trump and Modi enjoyed a strong personal rapport and the president was committed to deepening India-US relationship. “The President very much looks forward to meeting prime minister Modi again at the earliest opportunity,” the White House spokesperson said.

Every year, India invites world leaders to attend its Republic Day celebrations. In 2015, US president Barack Obama had attended the celebrations as a chief guest.