This is for the first time that officially the White House has commented on President Donald Trump’s decision to reject Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to visit on Republic Day of India as a Chief Guest.
The White House spokesman told the source that US President Trump could not accept the invitation to visit India because of ‘scheduling constraints’.
He continued that “President Trump was honored 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.”
“The President enjoys a strong personal rapport with Prime Minister Modi developed through two meetings and several phone calls and remains committed to deepening the U.S.-India strategic partnership. The President very much looks forward to meeting Prime Minister Modi again at the earliest opportunity,” added the spokesman.
Earlier this year, India has invited US President Trump for a visit to the country and if he had accepted then Trump would be the second US President, after former US President Barack Obama, to visit the country on Republic Day. Obama has visited India twice as the Chief Guest on Republic Day, a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power.
Trump’s decision to not visit the country comes after the differences between the two nations over India’s defence purchase from Russia and oil imports from Iran.
Despite US restriction to import oil from Iran, India continued the same. Modi-led BJP government has decided to buy the Russian S-400 long-range missile system, despite US action threats, which the US considers within the scope of Countering American’s Adversaries through Sanctions Act.
Russia’s S-400 missile system is debatably the world’s deadliest surface-to-air missile and the United States believes that the weapon is likely to bring imbalance on the war-field if it falls in untrained hands. West considered Russia’s use of the missile system in Syria as threats.