US President Barack Obama to be Republic Day chief guest

In a major sign of deepening India-US ties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday invited Barack Obama to be the chief guest at the 2015 Republic Day parade and the US President accepted the invitation

New Delhi/Washington: India has invited US President Barack Obama to be the chief guest at the 2015 Republic Day celebrations, an invitation which has been accepted by the American leader.

"This Republic Day, we hope to have a friend over... Invited President Obama to be the 1st US President to grace the occasion as Chief Guest," Modi tweeted.

Barack Obama and Narendra Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama shake hands in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington at the start of the year. File Pic 

Confirming Obama's acceptance, the Press Secretary on the President's Travel in a statement said, "At the invitation of Prime Minister Modi, the President will travel to India in January 2015 to participate in the Indian Republic Day celebration in New Delhi as the Chief Guest.

"This visit will mark the first time a US president will have the honor of attending Republic Day, which commemorates the adoption of India's Constitution.

"The President will meet with the Prime Minister and Indian officials to strengthen and expand the US-India strategic partnership."

Modi met President Obama in September in Washington for talks on two consecutive days.

Earlier this month, Modi met Obama at an East Asia summit in Myanmar and an agreement was struck there to allow WTO trade deal that India had stalled over concerns that its food subsidies to the poor could face legal challenges.

Obama had praised Modi as "a man of action".

This will be Obama's second visit to India. He had visited India in 2010 at the invitation of then prime minister Manmohan Singh and had addressed a joint session of parliament. 

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