UK PM Boris Johnson to be chief guest at India's 2021 Republic Day celebrations

By Administrator_India

Capital Sands

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has accepted the invitation to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26, UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab informed on December 15.

“I’m pleased that PM Boris Johnson has invited PM Modi to join the UK-hosted G7 summit next year. UK PM Johnson has also accepted the very generous invitation to attend India’s Republic Day celebrations in January, which is a great honour,” Raab said during talks with India’s Minister of External Affairs S Jaishankar.

Responding to the confirmation, Jaishankar said that Johnson’s presence would be “in a way symbolic of a new era, a new phase of our relationship”.

Earlier, reports had suggested that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had extended the invitation to Johnson during their telephonic conversation on November 27.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro was the Republic Day parade chief guest in 2020. The process of selecting the chief guest is long and begins around six months ahead of Republic Day.

After the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) carefully scrutinises India’s relations with the country concerned, the government sends an invite to their Head of State.

Among other factors that the MEA considers, including political and economic relations and military cooperation, is the past association with the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). NAM was a movement joined by most newly liberated countries to collectively fight colonialism and apartheid.

The chief guest is also decided on the basis of the other country’s interest and availability of the dignitary. The natural corollary is that the guest should be treated with utmost honour and they should be satisfied with their visit.

John Major was the last British prime minister to attend the Indian Republic Day parade in 1993.