Trump can’t come, has ‘scheduling constraints’
Newdelhi:washingtononmonday tried to explain US President Donald Trump’s inability to accept Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s invite to India’s Republic Day, asserting that “scheduling constraints” prevented him.
However, the White House has gone on to highlight the “strong personal rapport” shared by the two leaders.
Trumphastoreporttotheuscongress end of January and would be unable to travel to India, diplomatic sources point out. US Presidents present their annual report to Congress late in January. The State of Union address, however, can be shifted if scheduled in advance.
President Barack Obama attended two Republic Day events in India, pre-poning his State of Union address to Jan.20.
“President Trump was honored by Prime Minister Modi’s invitation for him to be Chief Guest of India’s Republic Day on Jan. 26, 2019, but is unable to participate due to scheduling constraints,” a White House statement says.
It is known that Washington is irritated that India signed a Rs390 billion missile deal with Russia and keeps buying oil from Iran.
However, in a bid to stress that Trump’s rejection of the invite is not related to that, the statement goes on to stress that, “The President enjoys a strong personal rapport with Prime Minister Modi developed through two meetings and several phone calls and remains committed to deepening the Us-india strategic partnership.
“The President very much looks forward to meeting Prime Minister Modi again at the earliest opportunity.” The invite itself had been a guarded secret because its acceptance wasn’t guaranteed. That’s normal in international relations.
Modi and Trump met irst in June 2017 at the White House. An extended one-on-one was a highlight, followed by a hugging that was claimed as relecting a personal intimacy. First lady Melania Trump had held a reception for the Indian delegation later.
Again at the ASEAN summit in Manila in November 2017, they held a bilateral meeting. In July 2017, at a G-20 summit in Hamburg, the two leaders met for a quick exchange, pictures of which were tweeted by Modi’s aides.
The Modi government’s choice of Russian missiles, however, is known to have annoyed the US. Despite the threat of US action, India went on to buy the Russian S-400 long-range missile system, which Washington considers is within the scope of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act.