/ BIMSTEC leaders confirm attending swearing-in

The Hindu : May 29, 2019, 09:49 AM

Several foreign leaders have confirmed participation at the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday.

The Presidents of Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Kyrgyz Republic and Myanmar and the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Nepal and Bhutan will attend the function, said an External Affairs Ministry statement here on Tuesday. Thailand will send a special envoy, Grisada Boonrach, its Agriculture and Cooperative Minister.

Sources said Pakistan would be left out as the primary focus (with the exception of the Kyrgyz Republic) was the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) grouping.

“We have invited BIMSTEC member states. Pakistan is not a member of BIMSTEC,” a source said.

The Maldives and Afghanistan were not invited for the same reason, he added. “We have not invited countries like Afghanistan and the Maldives with which we share excellent relations because they are not members of BIMSTEC.”

In a notification on Tuesday, Nepal’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli would travel to India on May 30. “During his visit, the Hon. Prime Minister will have a meeting with his Indian counterpart,” it said.