Modi invites BIMSTEC nation heads

NEW DELHI, May 27: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today invited Government and nation heads of the BIMSTEC member States for his swearing-in on May 30.
According to MEA spokesman, “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 its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy”.
The President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov, who is the current Chair of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth, who was the Chief Guest at this year’s Pravasi Bhartiya Divas, have also been invited.
“We will keep the media abreast of further details in due course,” the spokesman said.
In 2014, Mr Modi had invited all SAARC nation and Government heads for the swearing in ceremony on May 26, 2014.
The Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was one of the visiting guests who attracted attention during the 2014 ceremony.
Mr Modi’s decision to invite BIMSTEC nation heads also ends speculation whether new Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan will be invited.
Both the leaders have, however, exchanged pleasantries and both said they were committed to the cause of poor and welfare of the people.
On June 6, 1997, a new sub-regional grouping was formed in Bangkok under the name BISTEC (Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand Economic Cooperation). After inclusion of Myanmar in 1997, the Group was renamed ‘BIMSTEC’ (Bangladesh, India, Myanmar, Sri Lanka and Thailand Economic Cooperation).
In 1998, Nepal became an observer but at a later stage in February 2004, Nepal and Bhutan also became full members.
The swearing in ceremony of the second Modi-led dispensation will take place on May 30. (UNI)