On the upcoming Indian Republic Day event, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be chief guest and this has been now confirmed.
This will India’s 70th Republic Day celebrations.
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.
Confirming the development, 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”.
PM Modi too tweeted his happiness over the South African leader gracing the occasion as Chief Guest.
He posted, Glad to have met President @CyrilRamaphosa. At a time when India is marking the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, it is our honour to welcome President Ramaphosa as the Chief Guest for the 2019 Republic Day celebrations. Bapu’s close link 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.