South African President Cyril Ramaphosa To Be 2019 Republic Day Chief Guest

Cyril Ramaphosa was invited to be the chief guest by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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PM Modi and Cyril Ramaphosa met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina


New Delhi: 

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be chief guest at India's 70th Republic Day celebrations. Mr Ramaphosa was invited to be the chief guest by Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the two leaders met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina's capital Buenos Aires.

Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar on Saturday said in a tweet: "President Ramaphosa accepted India's invitation to be the Chief Guest at Republic Day during 150th anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi." 

PM Modi said the upcoming visit will help "cement ties between India and South Africa". In another tweet, he said "Bapu's close links with South Africa is well known". 

The announcement comes a little over a month after US President Donald Trump declined India's invitation to be the chief guest. President Trump's administration had said he has a "crowded agenda" and can't be in India for the Republic Day.

This year, in a first, the chief guest at Republic Day celebrations were the 10 heads of state from ASEAN or Association of Southeast Asian Nations, a regional grouping of 10 Southeast Asian countries (Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Brunei).

The chief guest at India's first Republic Day on January 26, 1950 was the President of Indonesia, and since then, five other Southeast Asian leaders have chief guests at the Republic Day parades.



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