New Delhi, November 15: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be the chief guest at the Republic Day next year. Ramaphosa accepted the invitation of the Indian government. His acceptance comes after the United States President Donald Trump turned down the invitation to be the chief guest. Responding to the invitation, the White House said that Trump could not attend the event as his State of the Union address would be at the same time. Cyril Ramaphosa Declared New President of South Africa as Jacob Zuma Resigns
"President Trump was honoured by Prime Minister Modi's invitation for him to be the chief guest of India's Republic Day on January 26, 2019, but is unable to participate due to scheduling constraints," a White House spokesperson told PTI. Ramaphosa became the president in February this year following the resignation of Jacob Zuma. He also served as the Deputy President of South Africa from 2014 to 2018. Ramaphosa was elected President of the African National Congress (ANC) at the ANC National Conference in December 2017. South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa Replaces Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, Moves Him to Home Affairs
Every year, India invites world leaders to attend its Republic Day celebrations. Earlier, former US president Barack Obama had also attended the Republic Day celebrations in 2015 as the chief guest. Meanwhile, in 2016, the then French president Francois Hollande was the chief guest while Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was the chief guest at the celebrations in 2014.