Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited US President Joe Biden to be the chief guest at India’s 75th Republic Day celebrations on January 26, 2024, signaling the growing strategic partnership between the two countries.
Invitation Extended During Bilateral Meeting at G20 Summit
According to US Ambassador to India Eric Garcetti, PM Modi extended the invitation to President Biden during their bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the recent G20 Summit in New Delhi.
If accepted, Biden would become the second US president after Barack Obama in 2015 to grace the Republic Day celebrations as chief guest. The invitation is considered a great honor reserved for India’s closest partners.
Speculation on Possible Quad Summit
There has been speculation that India could host a Quad Summit around the time of Republic Day next year. The Quad comprises India, US, Japan and Australia and aims to ensure a free, open and inclusive Indo-Pacific region.
However, Garcetti did not confirm whether a Quad summit would be held in January in addition to Biden’s potential attendance at the Republic Day events. It is India’s turn to host the annual Quad summit in 2024.
Republic Day Chief Guests in Recent Years
Due to COVID-19, India did not have a Republic Day chief guest in 2021 and 2022. The last chief guest was Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in 2020. Past invitees include leaders from prominent countries such as Russia, France, South Korea, Bhutan, and members of ASEAN.
The choice of chief guest each year reflects India’s key diplomatic and economic engagements. If accepted, President Biden’s invitation for 2024 would demonstrate the growing strategic closeness between the US and India as partners on regional and global issues.
In summary, the invitation to President Biden underscores the expanding India-US relationship and potential for even closer cooperation in the future across trade, defense, climate change and other areas. The Republic Day celebrations would give both leaders a chance to showcase this important relationship.