Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will be the chief guest at the Republic Day celebrations in January 2023, the Ministry of External Affairs said.
“This is the first time that the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt will be the chief guest at our Republic Day,” the MEA said in a statement.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi extended a formal invitation to al-Sisi, which was extended to the Egyptian president by External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on October 16.
Both countries are celebrating the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations this year.
Egypt has been invited as a “guest country” during India’s chairmanship of the G-20 in 2022-23, the statement said.
“India and Egypt enjoy warm and friendly relations based on civilizational and deep-rooted people-to-people ties,” the statement said.
Leaders of friendly nations have been decorating the Republic Day celebrations since 1950, when the then Indonesian President Sukarno was invited as the chief guest.
In 1952, 1953 and 1966, Republic Day celebrations were held without a foreign leader as the chief guest.
In 2021, the then British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was invited as the chief guest, but his visit had to be canceled due to the increasing cases of COVID-19 in Britain.
This year, India invited the leaders of the five Central Asian republics, who were to visit Delhi for the India-Central Asia Summit, as chief guests for the Republic Day celebrations.
However, the visit was canceled due to rising cases of COVID-19 in India. The India-Central Asia Summit was held in virtual form.
In 2018, the entire leadership of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), consisting of 10 heads of state, was present at the Republic Day parade.
In 2020, the then Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro was the main guest.
Former US President Barack Obama (2015), Russian President Vladimir Putin (2007), former French Presidents Nicholas Sarkozy (2008) and Francois Hollande (2016) have also been the main guests of the Republic Day celebrations in the past.