The president of United States Donald Trump has reportedly turned down Narendra Modi government's invitation to be the chief guest at India's 70th Republic Day parade to be held in Delhi. In August, a month after the invitation had been extended, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders had told the media, "I know that the invitation has been extended, but I do not believe that a final decision has been made." Various reports now claim that US has conveyed to India's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval in writing that Trump will not be able to attend the Republic Day function.
Political analysts have also speculated that the reason behind Trump's snub could be the fact that India has kept buying oil from Iran despite the US government placing a host of sanctions on the country.
NDTV reports that the Modi government's decision to buy the Russian S-400 long-range missile system — seen as the United States as a potential threat to power equations in the world if it is acquired by the 'wrong' people — was also an issue that the two countries has had to deal with in the recent past.
The deal to purchase the missile was signed earlier this month when Vladimir Putin visited India and met Modi earlier this month. Prior to the signing of the deal, the Trump administration had warned countries that anyone engaging with Russia defence and intelligence sectors could come under sanctions from US under their Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA). India signed the deal, nevertheless.
News18 reports that the US government has cited 'domestic commitments', including the State of Union address scheduled to be delivered around the same time as the reason Trump has to decline the invitation.
Mint reports that guests for Republic Day are usually chosen from countries which are of strategic importance to India. Barack Obama had visited India twice for Republic Day.