Prime Minister Narendra Modi has invited leaders from the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation, or BIMSTEC, bloc to his swearing-in ceremony on May 30, the Ministry of External Affairs announced on Monday. BIMSTEC is a regional group comprising India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bhutan and Nepal.
The Ministry of External Affairs said the invitations are “in line with government’s focus on its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy”. President of the Kyrgyz Republic Sooronbay Jeenbekov and Prime Minister of Mauritius Pravind Jugnauth have also been invited, ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar added.
On May 25, President Ram Nath Kovind had asked Modi to form the new government after the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance won 353 of the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha elections. “The President will administer the oath of office and secrecy to the Prime Minister and other members of the Union council of ministers at 7 pm on May 30, 2019, at Rashtrapati Bhavan,” a statement issued on May 26 said.
In 2014, Modi had invited members of the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation to his swearing-in ceremony in New Delhi.
The leaders from the BIMSTEC bloc had met in Nepal in August 2018 and outlined their plan to ensure peace in the region.