New Delhi: A day after US President Donald Trump reportedly turned down India’s invite to be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebration, the Congress party on Monday attacked the Centre and called it a ‘diplomatic faux pas’ and an avoidable embarrassment.
Slamming the Narendra Modi-led government, senior Congress leader Anand Sharma said,”There was no justification to have extended the invitation without first ascertaining that US President Trump will accept it. It is a failure of Indian diplomacy, they should have avoided it.”
Earlier on Sunday, it was reported that Trump had rejected India’s invite over the latter’s S-400 missile defence system deal with Russia and oil imports from Iran despite the United States sanctions. As per sources, Donald Trump’s decision was conveyed by the US authorities to NSA Ajit Doval. Another reason to turn down the invitation was Trump’s domestic commitments — State of the Union (SOTU) address around that time.
Paying no heed to the warnings of the United States sanctions, India had on October 6 signed a deal with Russia to acquire the $5-billion S-400 air defence missile system. The intentions were clear as India and Russia concluded a deal for the supply of S-400 Triumf long-range surface-to-air missile system giving a substantial boost to air defence capabilities of the Indian Air Force.
In April this year, India had officially sent an invite to Donald Trump. While the authorities confirmed receiving the invite, they said that the final decision was taken after 2+2 dialogue which happened in September. Notably the US and India ties have lately been under a lot of strain since the latter signed S-400 deal with Russia.