Seven leaders from India’s neighbourhood watch swearing-in event together

PM meets all seven leaders after being sworn in; Bangladesh and Bhutan PMs hold bilateral talks on hydropower

Updated - June 10, 2024 06:33 am IST

Published - June 09, 2024 10:33 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Sheikh Hasina, Mohamed Muizzu and other special invitees attend the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday.

Sheikh Hasina, Mohamed Muizzu and other special invitees attend the swearing-in ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan on Sunday. | Photo Credit: ANI

Leaders of seven neighbouring countries attended the swearing-in of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Cabinet at the Rashtrapati Bhavan forecourt in Delhi on Sunday. After the ceremony, all seven leaders including Sri Lankan?President Ranil Wickremesinghe, Maldives?President Mohamed Muizzu, Seychelles?Vice-President Ahmed Afif,?Bangladesh?Prime Minister?Sheikh Hasina, Mauritius PM?Pravind Jugnauth,?Nepal PM?Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, and Bhutan PM?Tshering Tobgay attended the ceremonial banquet hosted by President Droupadi Murmu, and met with Mr. Modi together on Sunday evening.

“I am grateful to all the foreign dignitaries who joined the swearing in ceremony. India will always work closely with our valued partners in pursuit of human progress,” PM Modi wrote on social media platform ‘X’ after the ceremony. A press release by the Ministry of External Affairs said that during his discussion with the seven leaders, Mr. Modi had called for “deeper people-to-people ties and connectivity in the region”, and added that India would continue to amplify the “voice of the Global South in the international arena”.

Braving sub-40 degrees evening temperatures, the leaders were seated side by side in the front row of the Forecourt for the entire ceremony that went on for more than two and a half hours. This is the first visit to India by Mr. Muizzu and Ms. Hasina after they were elected in November 2023 and January 2024 respectively. The inclusion of Mr. Muizzu, who met with Mr. Modi in December last year, was significant as ties between Delhi and Male have been strained over Mr. Muizzu’s insistence on the withdrawal of Indian troops stationed in the southern atolls to maintain aircraft for the past decade. The final batch of troops were withdrawn in May this year, and Mr. Muizzu’s acceptance of the invitation indicates a reset in ties.?

Mr. Tobgay attended the swearing-in for the second time after 2014, when he was last seen in power. Ms. Hasina attended Mr. Modi’s swearing-in for the first time although she was invited in the past as Bangladesh, along with Bhutan, Nepal and Sri Lanka had been invited in 2014 and 2019 as well. Both Ms. Hasina and Mr. Tobgay also held bilateral talks while in Delhi on Sunday afternoon, discussing Bangladesh’s desire to import hydropower from Bhutan, which requires a tripartite transit agreement with India, on the lines of a similar agreement discussed with Nepal.

“Bhutan is eagerly waiting to export hydroelectricity to Bangladesh,”?Foreign Minister Hasan Mahmud told journalists on Sunday, while briefing them about the meeting.

While in 2014, the government had invited all leaders of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) grouping, which included Afghanistan and Pakistan, in 2019 the leaders of the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) grouping, including Myanmar and Thailand had attended the ceremony.

“The visit of the leaders to attend the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi for his third consecutive term is in keeping with the highest priority accorded by India to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and ‘SAGAR’ vision,” the Ministry said, explaining the reasoning behind the current group of foreign dignitaries invited. However, given that Delhi does not formally recognise the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, or the military regime in Myanmar, nor does it maintain any high-level engagement with the government in Pakistan, the grouping does not represent the entire neighbourhood, but the countries in India’s “comfort zone”.?

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in

Comments

Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.

news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news
news