New Delhi: South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa will be the chief guest for Republic Day celebrations in 2019. Ramaphosa has on Saturday accepted the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to be the chief guest.
He was invited by the Prime Minister while the two leaders met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires.
Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) spokesperson took to Twitter and said, "150 years of Mahatma & 100 years of Madiba! Good meeting between PM @narendramodi & South Africa President @CyrilRamaphosa on margins of #G20Summit. President Ramaphosa accepted India's invitation to be the Chief Guest at Republic Day during 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi."
Meanwhile, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said, "PM had a number of bilateral engagements this morning. Argentina PM is keen to make a visit to India in 2019. PM extended South Africa Pres Cyril Ramaphosa invitation to be the chief guest for India's Republic Day in 2019 and Ramaphosa accepted."
The announcement comes more than a month after the US President Donald Trump declined India's invitation to be the chief guest at Republic Day. A White House spokesperson had said, "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."