US Ambassador to India, Kenneth Juster on Thursday said US president Donald Trump declining India's invitation to be the chief guest at 2019 Republic Day celebrations was completely a scheduling issue. Juster was speaking at the side lines of ‘South Asian Regional Connectivity’ conference in New Delhi. “It is completely a scheduling issue. Right now, there is no Speaker of the House that has even been selected,” news agency ANI quoted him as saying.
It is completely a scheduling issue. Right now there is no Speaker of the House that has even been selected: Kenneth Juster US Ambassador to India on being asked about US president Donald Trump declining India's invitation to be the chief guest at 2019 Republic Day celebrations pic.twitter.com/uUD4zIoK1a— ANI (@ANI) November 1, 2018
Earlier, the US President Donald Trump had reportedly declined India's invitation to be the chief guest at the 2019 Republic Day parade. According to reports, US president's 'domestic commitments', including his State of the Union address, around that time were the main reason for denying the invitation. The US authorities had conveyed Trump's decision in a letter to NSA Ajit Doval recently, they said. In the letter, Trump reportedly said that he regreted his inability to accept the invitation.
Speaking at the event Kenneth Juster said, “While we recognise connectivity can bring great benefits, we also must acknowledge it carries significant risks. It includes illicit trade, political interference, unsustainable debt arrangements, vulnerability to cyber-attacks and environmental pollution and disease.”
“The increased connectivity must be managed effectively and with transparency among stakeholders with agreed upon technical and behavioural standards and with responsible governance,” he said.
“No government alone has resources to meet all of south Asia's infrastructural needs whether it be for highways, railroads, inland waterways, bridges, airports. Only with support of private sector can we mobilise resources necessary for such needs over next decade and beyond,” he added.