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Unless Modi Speaks Arabic, He Probably Didn't Understand A Word Uttered By The Republic Day Chief Guest

Translator, MIA.

26/01/2017 8:38 AM IST | Updated 26/01/2017 9:59 AM IST

At a press conference in Hyderabad House on the eve of Republic Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi found himself in a rather awkward situation. It starts around 16 minutes into the video above after Modi wraps up his speech.

It came about because the translator-on-duty was missing in action, while Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammad bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Republic Day chief guest, spoke for at least three minutes in Arabic.

The reason for the translator's absence isn't clear. The Times of India reported that he was stuck in traffic, while NDTV said that he was stopped by the security personnel for an extended search.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley was seen pressing keys on the small remote in the hope of getting TNR translation working. If he was furious at the situation, the prime minister didn't let on. The politicians and other journalists in the room look bewildered.

The couple of times that the camera cut to Modi, he had on a poker face. Fortunately for everyone, the crown prince kept his speech short. It ended to a polite smattering of applause.

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