US Ambassador Eric Garcetti has announced that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has extended an invitation to US President Joe Biden to be the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day celebrations in 2024. Garcetti, who assumed his ambassadorial role earlier this year, made this statement at an event organized by the Ananta Aspen Centre, a think-tank. If Biden accepts this invitation, he will be the second US President to be the Chief Guest at India’s Republic Day, following Barack Obama who had this honor in 2015.
This invitation is indicative of the strengthening relationship between India and the US, encompassing various sectors such as trade, energy, defence, and space cooperation. Modi himself undertook a significant state visit to the US in June of this year. The most recent meeting between Modi and Biden took place during the G20 Summit in New Delhi in early September. During this meeting, plans for an India Middle East Economic Corridor (IMEC) were unveiled, in collaboration with partners in West Asia and the European Union.
In a joint statement released after the Modi-Biden meeting on September 8th, the leaders urged their governments to continue efforts to transform the India-US Strategic Partnership across all aspects of their diverse global agenda. This transformation is based on trust and mutual understanding. The leaders reiterated that shared values such as freedom, democracy, human rights, inclusion, pluralism, and equal opportunities for all citizens are vital for the success of their countries and these values fortify their relationship.
In the past, several prominent Western leaders have been Chief Guests at India’s Republic Day. These include Jacques Chirac, François Hollander, Nicolas Sarkozy and Valery Giscard d’Estaing from France. Malcolm Fraser, former Prime Minister of Australia was a Chief Guest in 1979. British Prime Minister John Major was honored with this title in 1993.