PM ‘highly likely’ to attend Modi’s inauguration

  • Cabinet to discuss on India invitation in detail today
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
PM ‘highly likely’ to attend Modi’s inauguration

May 21, 2014-

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala is “highly likely” to attend the swearing-in ceremony of India’s Prime Minister-elect Narendra Modi to be held on May 26 in New Delhi.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs has extended an invitation to Koirala along with the other heads of the state and heads of the government of Saarc member countries to the event.

“Since we have already decided for early engagement with our neighbours, we are positive about PM’s participation in the event,” said Dinesh Bhattarai, Koirala’s foreign relations adviser.  

The Cabinet meeting on Thursday will discuss on the invitation in detail, a senior government official said, adding that PM Koirala is interested to visit India.

The PM has also been invited by another neighbouring nation, China, to attend the upcoming China-South Asia Expo in Kunming, to which he has not given his decision yet.

It has been a customary practice for Nepali prime ministers to pay the first official visit to India after assuming the office, save UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal who, during his term as a premier, had visited China first.

Some foreign policy experts say Koirala will most likely keep up with the tradition and visit India. They also believe that the PM's visit to India will pave way for his visit to Kunming.

Sources in New Delhi said besides PM Koirala, Bhutanese PM Tshering Tobgay, Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa are also likely to attend Modi’s swearing in ceremony. Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif, however, has not confirmed his participation. Syed Akbaruddin, spokesperson at India’s Ministry of External Affairs, said this is the first time India has invited the leaders from all Saarc member states for the swearing-in ceremony of its prime minister. “We have also had informal consultations with several Saarc countries in this matter, and we hope to have their response shortly,” he said. 

Published: 22-05-2014 09:26

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