WASHINGTON D.C. : United States President Donald Trump will not attend India's Republic Day celebrations next year due to "scheduling constraints," the White House confirmed on Tuesday.
"President Trump was honored by Prime Minister Modi's invitation for him to be Chief Guest of India's Republic Day on January 26, 2019 but is unable to participate due to scheduling constraints," a statement from White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders read.
"The President enjoys a strong personal rapport with Prime Minister Modi developed through two meetings and several phone calls and remains committed to deepening the U.S.-India strategic partnership. The President very much looks forward to meeting Prime Minister Modi again at the earliest opportunity," the statement added.
Trump would have been the second US President to attend the Republic Day celebrations in New Delhi. Former President Barack Obama was part of the celebration in 2015.
Trump's rejection of the invitation comes amid straining relations between the two countries over India's decision to purchase oil from Iran and the sign the deal with Russia for the S-400 missile Triumf surface-to-air missiles.