BIMSTEC heads invited to PM’s swearing-in

BIMSTEC heads invited to PM’s swearing-in

Imran Khan not on list of invitees for May 30 event

India has invited several heads of state, including those from the Bay of Bengal community (BIMSTEC) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30.

“Government of India has invited the leaders of the BIMSTEC Member States for the swearing-in ceremony. This is in line with government’s focus on it’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy,” the spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Monday.

SCO chair

President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov and Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth were among the invitees, the MEA statement said. Kyrgyzstan is the current chair of the SCO, which will host the organisation’s summit in Bishkek next month.

President of Bangladesh Abdul Hamid is expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony, diplomatic sources said on Monday. Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli of Nepal, Prime Minister of Bhutan Lotay Tsering are also expected to attend.

From the 6 other BIMSTEC nations, the government is still awaiting details of who the representatives from Thailand and Myanmar will be.

However, according to available information, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is not on the list of invitees. Both Mr. Khan and Mr. Modi exchanged pleasantries on the phone on Sunday. The President of the Maldives is also not among the invitees though it is reported that Mr. Modi might visit the island nation for his first overseas trip in his second term.

Premier of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina had called Mr. Modi in the afternoon of May 23 as news came in of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s landslide victory. During the phone call, both leaders had decided to identify dates for a meeting at the earliest. However a 12-day foreign tour will keep Ms. Hasina from the swearing-in.

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