Republic Day 2019: South African President Cyril Ramaphosa is the Chief Guest at India Gate

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be the Chief Guest at Republic Day celebration this year in New Delhi. Read on to know more.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be the Chief Guest at Republic Day celebration this year in New Delhi. Talking about the Republic day celebrations, the parade will start off laying a wreath at the Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. There will be a 90-minute parade and during the same 22 tableaux will perform around the theme of  Mahatma Gandhi. Audiences will also witness performances by school students and others. To grace the event, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be accompanied by first lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe and a high-level delegation which includes nine ministers, senior officials and a 50-member business contingent. They will be in India for a two-day visit. The visit is Ramaphosa’s first India tour as the head of the state.
 
For the unversed, after Nelson Mandela, he is the second South African President to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day celebrations. Last year, leaders from the 10 ASEAN nations – Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, and Brunei – were the chief guests. As per reports, the South African President will also hold delegation level talks with PM Modi on Friday in which bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest will be discussed. On Friday evening, Mr. Cyril will also deliver the first IBSA Gandhi—Mandela Memorial Freedom Lecture in New Delhi.
 
In a statement, the MEA said, “At the invitation of Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa will undertake a State Visit to India on 25-26 January 2019 as a State Guest of Honour for Republic Day 2019. President Ramaphosa will be accompanied by the First Lady Dr Tshepo Motsepe, and a high level delegation including nine Ministers, senior officials of his Government and a 50-member business delegation. This is the first visit to India by President Ramaphosa as Head of State. He is the second President of South Africa after President Nelson Mandela to be the Chief Guest at the Republic Day.” 
 
The MEA also said, “President Ramaphosa will be accorded a ceremonial welcome at Rashtrapati Bhawan on 25 January 2019, and Hon’ble Rashtrapatiji (President) Ram Nath Kovind will host a State Banquet in honour of the visiting President the same evening. President Ramaphosa accompanied by First Lady will pay his respects to the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat whose 150th birth anniversary is being celebrated both nationally and internationally and who has a special resonance in South Africa. President Ramaphosa will have a bilateral meeting and hold delegation level talks with the Prime Minister on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.”
For the unversed, PM Modi had personally handed over the invite to Ramaphosa when he met him last at the G20 summit in Argentina.

Credits: Pinkvilla

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