LONDON: UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson today cancelled his India visit, making an announcement from Downing Street that cited the need to oversee the pandemic response at home.
Hours earlier, Johnson had announced a fresh lockdown in the United Kingdom over the new strain of coronavirus that has affected thousands of people in the island nation.
In 2018, US President Donald Trump had declined PM Narendra Modi’s invite to be the Chief Guest at the 2019 Republic Day celebrations.
Consequently, the Indian Government invited South African President Cyril Ramaphosa as the Chief Guest.
In 2013 when the Sultan of a West Asian monarchy declined the invitation, the King of Bhutan Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck, who was the Chief Guest barely eight years back, graciously decided to step in.
Ironically, UK Prime Minister Johnson announced the pull out on a day his Foreign Office announced the filling up of the vacant High Commissioner’s slot.
Deputy National Security Adviser Alex Ellis will be the new High Commissioner, said a UK Foreign Office announcement.
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