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India begins sending out invites to foreign leaders for PM Modi's oath-taking ceremony

File photo: Prime Minister Narendra Modi flashes the victory sign as he arrives at the party headquarters to celebrate the party's victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in New Delhi. Photograph:( PTI )

WION New Delhi May 25, 2019, 01.52 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

India has started sending out invites to neighbouring countries and ASEAN nations for PM Narendra Modi's oath-taking ceremony. The ceremony is likely to take place on May 30. WION has learnt that Sri Lankan President's office has confirmed to media that President Maithripala Sirisena will be attending the oath-taking ceremony. This is in line with the Modi government's "Neighbourhood First" policy and "Act East" policy as well as its growing focus on the BIMSTEC grouping. 

Meanwhile, Indian government sources have said, "At the moment, we have no information on this matter.  We will share details with the media once a decision is taken."

During the first tenure of his government, PM Modi had visited all South Asian countries. Countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka saw multiple visits. Last year, all 10 heads of the ASEAN countries were invited for the Republic Day celebration.

Pakistan still hasn't received the invite for the oath-taking ceremony.

In 2014, PM Modi had invited all heads of state of SAARC countries for his oath-taking ceremony. These included PM of Bhutan Tshering Tobgay, Nepal PM Sushil Koirala, PM of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif, Sri Lanka's President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and speaker of Bangladesh's PM Jatiyo Sangshad Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury. 

Only Bangladesh's PM Hasina remains in office as she was re-elected last year, rest all the countries have seen a change in government. 

It is still not clear if leaders such as Russian President Vladimir Putin, Japan's Shinzo Abe, France's Emmanuel Macron and Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu will attend the oath-taking ceremony. All these leaders had called PM Modi to congratulate him on his re-election.  

Isreal is still in the government formation mode. Netanyahu has been given a mandate by the president to try and form a government and as of now, a coalition hasn't been finalised.