In a historic gesture of friendship and diplomatic collaboration, Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended an invitation to United States President Joe Biden to be the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations, scheduled for January 26, 2024. This significant announcement emerged following a bilateral meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the G20 summit, as confirmed by US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti on Wednesday.
As India gears up to host the annual Quad summit in 2024, speculation was rife about the possibility of inviting Quad leaders to grace the Republic Day celebrations. When asked about this during an event, Ambassador Garcetti hinted that he was not privy to such plans, emphasizing that President Biden’s invitation was a product of the bilateral meeting.
The tradition of inviting distinguished global leaders to attend the Republic Day celebrations in India has been a long-standing one, fostering international camaraderie. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there were no Chief Guests in 2021 and 2022.
In the previous years, India has played host to an illustrious array of leaders from across the world. In 2020, the Chief Guest was the then Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa graced the event in 2019, and leaders of all 10 ASEAN countries attended the celebrations in 2018.
The parade has witnessed the presence of notable dignitaries such as Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2017, former French President Francois Hollande in 2016, and former US President Barack Obama in 2015.
Further enriching the tapestry of diplomatic ties, the then Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the Chief Guest in 2014, while Bhutan’s King Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck attended the parade in 2013.
Reflecting the global significance of India’s Republic Day, an array of international leaders have graced the occasion over the years. Notable attendees include Nicolas Sarkozy, Vladimir Putin, Nelson Mandela, John Major, Mohammed Khatami, and Jacques Chirac.
The history of esteemed Chief Guests dates back even further, with former British Prime Minister John Major attending in 1993, Nelson Mandela participating as the South African President in 1995, and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak witnessing the parade in 2010.
Prime Minister Modi’s invitation to President Biden for the 2024 Republic Day celebrations not only symbolizes the strengthening of ties between India and the United States but also highlights India’s role as a global leader in fostering diplomatic relations and international cooperation.
The confirmation of President Biden’s attendance at the event is sure to add a new chapter to the vibrant history of India’s Republic Day celebrations, promising an occasion of significance and global unity.
Source: PTI & Twitter.com