For the first time, as many as 150 foreign diplomats out of total 153 countries which have diplomatic presence in India, attended the Independence Day celebrations at the Red Fort from where Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed the nation.
According to official sources, in the past the presence of envoys has been around 50-60.
"The Ministry of External Affairs was taken pleasantly by surprise by the overwhelming interest evinced by Heads of Foreign Missions posted in Delhi in the Prime Minister's Independence Day speech delivered from the ramparts of the Red Fort on Friday.
"Usually, out of the 153 Foreign Missions in New Delhi, 50-60 missions approach us for passes to attend the ceremony at Red Fort," the sources said.
They said government had to make arrangements for larger number of foreign diplomats following the unprecedented interest and enthusiasm shown by the foreign envoys in attending the Independence Day celebration.
"However, we had to stop at 150 given the space allocation for diplomatic enclosure," the sources told PTI.
Modi's speech was translated in English for these envoys, the sources said.
Top envoys from Russia, the US, France, Germany, China and Japan participated at the Independence Day celebrations.