NEW DELHI, Dec. 2 (Xinhua) -- South African President Cyril Ramaphosa will be the chief guest on the occasion of India's 70th Republic Day on Jan. 26, announced Prime Minister Narendra Modi through a tweet.
Modi personally invited Ramaphosa when the duo met in Buenos Aires on the sidelines of the ongoing Group of 20 summit (G20). The latter immediately accepted the invitation to grace the occasion.
After meeting the South African leader, Modi tweeted "Glad to have met President @CyrilRamaphosa. At a time when India is marking the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi, it is our honour to welcome President Ramaphosa as the Chief Guest for the 2019 Republic Day celebrations. Bapu's (Mahatma Gandhi) close link with South Africa is well known."
India's "Father of Nation" Mahatma Gandhi spent many years, from 1893 to 1914, of his life in South Africa working there as an attorney. It was in South Africa where Gandhi carried out a non-violence movement against the oppressive treatment of the white people towards the native Africans and the Indian community there.
Gandhi was born in India's western state of Gujarat on Oct. 2, 1869. Next year, India would be celebrating his 150th birth anniversary.
In another tweet, Modi said "The upcoming visit of President @CyrilRamaphosa, and that too during the special occasion of India's Republic Day will further cement business and people-to-people ties between India and South Africa."