Signifying a renewal of the India-US strategic partnership, President Barack Obama has accepted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invitation to join India’s Republic Day celebrations as chief guest in January.
“This visit will mark the first time a US president will have the honour of attending Republic Day, which commemorates the adoption of India’s constitution,” the White House said in a statement.
“The president will meet with the prime minister and Indian officials to strengthen and expand the US-India strategic partnership,” the statement added.
Modi’s invitation to Obama comes after his own highly successful visit to the US in September that marked the beginning of a new chapter in India-US relations after the drift in the last days of the previous UPA government.
Modi and Obama also met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Brisbane Nov 14. Obama had called Modi a “man of action”.
This will be Obama’s second visit to India after his first one in November 2010 at the invitation of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. He had then also addressed a joint session of the Indian parliament.
Obama had chosen to host Manmohan Singh for the first official state dinner of his presidency in November 2009.
Earlier, Modi had announced the invitation in a tweet saying: “This Republic Day, we hope to have a friend over… invited President Obama to be the 1st US President to grace the occasion as Chief Guest”.