BIMSTEC Nations Confirm Participation In Modi Swearing-in Ceremony
Narendra Modi will be sworn in as prime minister for a second term on Thursday. (Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg)

BIMSTEC Nations Confirm Participation In Modi Swearing-in Ceremony


Leaders of all BIMSTEC countries have confirmed their participation in Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony as prime minister on Thursday.

Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and Kyrgyz President Sooronbay Jeenbekov also confirmed their participation at the event, the Ministry of External Affairs said.

MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said President of Bangladesh Abdul Hamid, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena, and Prime Minister of Nepal KP Sharma Oli have confirmed their participation at Modi’s swearing-in ceremony.

He said President of Myanmar U Win Myint and Bhutanese Prime Minister Lotay Tshering also confirmed their attendance at the Modi swearing-in.

From Thailand, Kumar said, its Special Envoy Grisada Boonrach will represent the country at the ceremony.

“We look forward to receiving the dignitaries in New Delhi for the ceremony,” said the MEA spokesperson.

India invited leaders of the BIMSTEC countries as well as Kyrgyz President Jeenbekov, the current chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and Mauritius PM Jugnauth for the Modi swearing-in.

Besides India, BIMSTEC comprises Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Nepal and Bhutan.

In 2014, Modi had invited all SAARC leaders, including then Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif, for his swearing-in ceremony, in a major initiative to reach out to the neighbouring countries.

However, invitation to BIMSTEC leaders for the event on Thursday is seen as an attempt to send a signal to Pakistan that India is not willing to engage with it.

Sharif’s attendance at Modi's swearing-in ceremony in 2014 had triggered hopes of better India-Pakistan relations. There were several engagements between the leaders of the two countries following Sharif’s visit. The ties however derailed after the Pathankot terror attack in January 2016.

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