Pakistan not invited for Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30

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New Delhi | Published: May 27, 2019 9:41:17 PM

It is confirmed. Pakistan is not being invited for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony later this week.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives to address NDA parliamentary board meeting, at Central Hall of Parliament House, in New Delhi on Saturday. (PTI Photo)

It is confirmed. Pakistan is not being invited for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony later this week.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), “BIMSTEC member states have been invited by the government for the swearing-in ceremony. This is in line with the Government’s focus on its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.”

Member countries of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) include Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Thailand besides India.

Also, joining the BIMSTEC member countries will be the President Sooronbay Jeenbekov of the Kyrgyz Republic, who is the current Chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and the Prime Minister of Mauritius, who was the Chief Guest at this year’s Pravasi Bhartiya Divas.

This is the second time Modi has given preference to the neighbourhood and has also a strong message to Pakistan that there can be no friendship until Pakistan stops its terrorist attacks.

In 2014, in his first term, all the SAARC leaders, including the then Pakistan prime minister Nawaz Sharif had attended the swearing in along with with other South Asian nations (SAARC) grouping.

It is expected that since Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is on a four-nation tour, the President of Bangladesh accompanied by the foreign minister of that country will be coming for the ceremony.

Known for his focus on neighbourhood first, Modi is likely to visit the Maldives either on June 8 or June 9 before he leaves for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting. While the MEA is trying to finalise the dates for the Maldives visit, efforts are on to keep a slot for a goodwill visit by Bangladesh Prime minister Hasina, before he travels.

Sri Lanka has already announced that President Maithripala Sirisena wants to join the swearing ceremony.

As has been reported by Financial Express Online earlier, the MEA is preparing for the first major international summit at Bishek of Kyrgyzstan from June 13-14. During that summit, Modi will have a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of China Xi Zin Ping on the sidelines.

It is being said that Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan will also be present. However, there is no confirmation that there will be a meeting between Modi and Khan on the sidelines at SCO summit.

Later in June, Modi will be going to Osaka, Japan to attend G-20 summit where he is likely to meet US President Donald Trump, where there are issues of importance that could be on the table for discussion.

During the last G-20 summit in Argentina, it was proposed that India will host G-20 in 2022, which coincides with the 75 th years of India’s independence.

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