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No R-Day chief guest this year: MEA

PRESS TRUST OF INDA 

New Delhi, Jan 14: The Ministry of External Affairs on Thiusdiv an-nounced that there will be no for-eign leader as the thief guest at the Republic Day celebrations due to the global situation arising out of the coronavirus pandemic. It will be for the first time in over five decades that India will not have a chief guest at the Republic Day parade. “Due to the global COVID 19 sit-

uation, it has been decided that this year there will not be a for-eign head of state or head of gov-ernment as the chief guest for our Republic Day event,” MEA Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava 

said at a media briefing. The deci-sion was taken after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’slast-minute decision to cancel his visit due to the spread of a mutant strain of the coronavirus in the UK. India had invited Johnson as the Republic Day chief guest and he ac-cepted India’s invitation, calling it “a great honour”. However; earlier this month, Johnson cancelled his India visit due to the pandemic that has escalated in the UK fol-lowing the mutant variant. 

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