Modi’s swearing-in: Invite to BIMSTEC leaders in line with ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, says MEA

New Delhi: The invitation to leaders of BIMSTEC member states for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on May 30 is in line with the government’s focus on the ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said on Monday.

Kumar added that an invite has also been extended to Kyrgyzstan’s President Sooronbay Jeenbekov and to the Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth for the occasion.

“Government of India has invited the leaders of the BIMSTEC Member States for the Swearing-in ceremony. This is in line with the Government’s focus on its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy,” Kumar told reporters on Monday.

“The President of the Kyrgyz Republic, who is the current Chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Prime Minister of Mauritius, who was the Chief Guest at this year’s Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, have also been invited,” he added.

In 2014, when Modi won his first term, all the SAARC leaders, including the then Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif attended the swearing-in as part of invitations extended to all the member countries of the South Asian grouping.

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