Narendra Modi has extended an invitation to US President Joe Biden to serve as the chief guest for the Republic Day celebrations on January 26 next year, US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti said on Wednesday (20).
The invitation was extended to Biden during their bilateral meeting on September 8 on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Delhi, the ambassador said.
Asked whether the Quad summit is being planned in India around the time of the Republic Day celebrations, Garcetti did not confirm it.
The US ambassador was asked at an event about the reports that India is considering inviting leaders of the Quad nations to grace the Republic Day celebrations.
If Biden accepts the invitation, he will be the second US president to be the chief guest at the event after Barack Obama, who graced the occasion in 2015.
Biden’s visit to India to attend the G20 summit earlier this month was his first trip to the country after becoming president.
Egyptian president Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was the chief guest at this year’s Republic Day celebrations.
Every year, India invites world leaders to attend its Republic Day celebrations.
There was no Republic Day chief guest in 2021 and 2022 in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In 2020, the then Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations. In 2019, South African president Cyril Ramaphosa was the chief guest at the Republic Day parade, while in 2018, leaders of all 10 ASEAN countries attended the celebrations.
In 2017, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan was the chief guest at celebrations, while the then French president Francois Hollande graced the occasion in 2016.
In 2014, the then Japanese prime minister Shinzo Abe was the chief guest at the celebrations, while Bhutan king Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck attended the parade in 2013.
The heads of state and government who have attended the Republic Day celebrations include Nicolas Sarkozy, Vladimir Putin, Nelson Mandela, John Major, Mohammed Khatami and Jacques Chirac.
The then British prime minister John Major had attended the celebrations in 1993, Nelson Mandela participated as then South African president in 1995 while South Korean president Lee Myung Bak witnessed the parade in 2010.