PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony will be attended by leaders of seven neighboring nations.

PM Modi

PM Modi’s swearing-in ceremony will be attended by leaders of seven neighboring nations.

PM Modi
World Population Day

New Delhi: In a significant display of regional solidarity and diplomatic engagement, leaders from seven neighbouring countries and the Indian Ocean region, including Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Maldives President Mohamed Muizzu, will attend Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony on June 9. This notable gathering underscores India’s commitment to its “Neighbourhood First” policy and the SAGAR (Security and Growth for All in the Region) vision.

The external affairs ministry, in a statement released on Saturday, confirmed the attendance of these leaders, highlighting the importance India places on regional cooperation and stability. Besides Hasina and Muizzu, the other dignitaries expected to grace the occasion are Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Seychelles Vice President Ahmed Afif, Mauritius Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, and Bhutan Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay.

Following the swearing-in ceremony, a banquet hosted by President Droupadi Murmu at the Rashtrapati Bhavan will honor the visiting leaders on Sunday evening. This gathering not only marks the commencement of Modi’s new term but also emphasizes India’s strategic and diplomatic priorities in the region.

The inclusion of Mohamed Muizzu in the guest list has raised eyebrows, given the strained relations between India and the Maldives since his election last year. Muizzu’s administration has pursued an “India Out” campaign, significantly altering the dynamics of Indo-Maldivian relations. Despite these tensions, Muizzu’s acceptance of the invitation signals a potential thawing of relations or, at the very least, an opportunity for diplomatic engagement.

Muizzu’s tenure has seen a pivot towards China, including the recall of over 85 Indian military personnel from the Maldives and the signing of agreements with Turkey and China for food and defense supplies. These moves are viewed as efforts to reduce the Maldives’ dependence on India. His presence at the ceremony will be closely watched for any signs of diplomatic rapprochement.

On the other hand, Sheikh Hasina’s participation further cements the strong ties between India and Bangladesh. Under the “Neighbourhood First” policy, Bangladesh has emerged as a key beneficiary, receiving significant aid to bolster road, rail, and energy connectivity. Although Hasina was expected to make a more comprehensive bilateral visit to India following her electoral victory in January, her attendance at the swearing-in ceremony suggests a prioritization of regional diplomacy over bilateral engagements, at least for now.

While it remains uncertain if Prime Minister Modi will hold separate bilateral meetings with all the visiting leaders, the schedule indicates that Sheikh Hasina and Seychelles President Ahmed Afif will arrive in New Delhi on Saturday, with the remaining leaders arriving on Sunday. Notably, Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is expected to arrive just a few hours before the ceremony.

This high-profile attendance underscores the pivotal role India plays in regional geopolitics and highlights the importance of continued cooperation and dialogue among neighboring nations. As Modi prepares to begin his new term, the presence of these leaders signifies a mutual recognition of the need for collaborative efforts to address shared challenges and opportunities in the Indian Ocean region.

The ceremony, set against the backdrop of regional cooperation, will be a testament to India’s diplomatic outreach and its commitment to fostering strong, stable, and prosperous relationships with its neighbors.

Share this article:
you may also like

what you need to know

in your inbox every morning