Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended an invitation to U.S. President Joe Biden to be the chief guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26 next year. U.S. Ambassador Eric Garcetti confirmed the invitation, stating that it is under consideration by the U.S. government. President Biden is also scheduled to visit India in 2024 for the Quad Summit, and efforts are being made to align the summit with his visit.
PM Modi’s Invitation
- Prime Minister Modi formally invited President Biden during their bilateral talks at the G-20 summit.
- The invitation specifically pertains to Republic Day on January 26 and did not mention the Quad Summit, which requires coordination among all four Quad countries (India, U.S., Japan, and Australia).
- This marks the third time the Modi government has invited a U.S. President to be the chief guest at the Republic Day parade.
- In 2015, President Barack Obama was the first American President to attend Republic Day as the chief guest.
- President Donald Trump declined the invitation for January 2019 due to scheduling conflicts in the U.S. Congress.
Upcoming Diplomatic Engagements
- External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is heading to New York, where he is expected to meet with Quad Ministers on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meeting.
- A U.S.-India Defence and Foreign Ministers’ “2+2” meeting is being scheduled for November in Delhi, setting the stage for President Biden’s potential visit in January.
Quad Summit Considerations
- The Ministry of External Affairs has not confirmed whether President Biden has been invited alongside other Quad leaders for the Republic Day celebrations.
- India aims to host the Quad Summit early in the year due to upcoming elections in both India and the U.S. in 2024, which could affect travel plans.
- The Japanese National Diet’s session and Australia’s National Day observance in January pose scheduling challenges for their respective leaders.
- Diplomatic sources indicate that the specific dates for the Quad summit are still under discussion among the Quad partners but suggest the possibility of holding it just after Republic Day on January 27-28, which falls on a weekend.