India and the United States are reportedly working together to finalise mutually convenient dates for US President Donald Trump’s state visit to India, a year after he expressed his inability to attend the grand Republic Day Parade as its chief guest. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa then attended the parade as the chief guest.
If agreed upon and finalised, it will be President Trump’s maiden state visit to India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, however, has met Trump in the US, during his state visits there in June 2017, as well as in September last year.
According to reports, the visit could take place as early as the second half of February. However, the timing of the proposed visit depends on the duration of Trump’s impeachment trial in the US Senate, which is expected to begin this week.
Trump was first invited to attend the Republic Day parade as its chief guest by Prime Minister Modi in 2018. However, since he couldn’t come, his visit to India, if it does go ahead, will be on a ‘standing invitation.’ Last November, however, he did say that PM Modi wants him to come to India and as such, he would ‘definitely come there at some point.’
India last month reiterated its invitation to the President through Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, when they called on Trump after meeting their respective American counterparts Mark Esper and Mike Pompeo.