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Trump says scheduling constraints behind decision to decline PM Modi's invite

October 31, 2018

The White House gave an official statement for the first time on President Donald Trump's decision to refuse Prime Minister Narendra Modi's invite to India's Republic Day as chief guest.

PM Modi had invited President Trump earlier this year. If he had accepted, he would have been the second United States president to come for the function. President Barack Obama visited India two times, once as chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in 2015. This was one year after PM Modi took charge.

The White House said President Trump was unable to attend due to scheduling constraints.

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...developed through two meetings and several phone calls. - White House spokesperson

India and the United States have been at loggerheads over India's defence purchases from Russia and oil imports from Iran. India has insisted on buying oil from Iran despite US sanctions on that country. The decision was not taken well by the Trump government.

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