Narendra Modi Oath Taking Ceremony: Here's How The PM Strengthened India's Bond With Its Neighbours

The list of attendees for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony includes distinguished guests who align with New Delhi’s ‘Neighbourhood First Policy,’ particularly focusing on island nations in the Indian Ocean region.

As India awaits the beginning of a new chapter in its political sphere, the platform is prepared for Narendra Modi to commence an unparalleled third consecutive tenure as Prime Minister. Against the backdrop of the latest Lok Sabha election outcomes, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) emerges triumphant.

The Rashtrapati Bhavan has confirmed that Narendra Modi’s ceremony is set for Sunday, June 9, at 7:15 PM. Over 8,000 dignitaries, including foreign leaders, are expected to attend.

Highlighting the importance of the event, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) stated,  “The attendance of leaders at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony for his third consecutive term aligns with India’s paramount focus on its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy and ‘SAGAR’ vision.”

Guest List for Narendra Modi’s Swearing-In Ceremony

The list of attendees for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony includes distinguished guests who align with New Delhi’s ‘Neighbourhood First Policy,’ particularly focusing on island nations in the Indian Ocean region.

Confirmed Guests

Leaders from neighboring countries who have confirmed their attendance include:

  • President of Sri Lanka, H.E. Mr Ranil Wickremesinghe
  • President of Maldives, H.E. Dr Mohamed Muizzu
  • Vice-President of Seychelles, H.E. Mr Ahmed Afif
  • Prime Minister of Bangladesh, H.E. Sheikh Hasina
  • Prime Minister of Mauritius, H.E. Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth
  • Prime Minister of Nepal, H.E. Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’
  • Prime Minister of Bhutan, H.E. Mr. Tshering Tobgay

Other Expected Guests

In addition to political leaders, the event anticipates the presence of various dignitaries, including individuals from different professions, religious leaders, Padma awardees, beneficiaries of government schemes, members of the transgender community, and laborers involved in the Central Vista project.

India’s Foreign Relations Under PM Modi

India-Sri Lanka Relations

The bond between India and Sri Lanka dates back over 2,500 years. They share a rich history of intellectual, cultural, religious, and linguistic exchange. The political ties between the two nations have been characterized by frequent high-level visits over the years.

For India, Sri Lanka has remained a key investment destination for a considerable period. It stands as one of India’s major trade partners within the South Asian Association of Regional Cooperation (SAARC). The trade relations between the two nations experienced significant growth, especially following the implementation of the India-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement in March 2000.

In recent times in a bid to foster and safeguard the Buddhist connections between India and Sri Lanka, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi unveiled a grant assistance of USD 15 million during the Virtual Bilateral Summit in September 2020.

India-Bhutan Relations

Diplomatic relations between India and Bhutan were established in 1968. The foundation of India-Bhutan relations has been the Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation signed in 1949, which was revised in February 2007.

The tradition of regular political and official exchanges underscores the special ties of friendship and cooperation between the two countries. Prime Minister Narendra Modi made Bhutan his first overseas visit after winning the election in 2014, and he returned for a state visit in August 2019 after assuming office for a second term.

His Majesty the King of Bhutan visited India from September 14 to 16, 2022, meeting with Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Dr. S. Jaishankar. In April 2023, His Majesty visited Delhi again, meeting the President of India, the Prime Minister, and the External Affairs Minister. During this visit, a Joint Statement titled “A Framework for Expanded India-Bhutan Partnership” was issued, reaffirming the strength of their unique ties and outlining specific areas to enhance the partnership.

In November 2023, His Majesty returned to India for discussions with the Prime Minister, the External Affairs Minister, and the Foreign Secretary. This visit also included His Majesty’s first official trips to the states of Assam and Maharashtra to expand the bonds of friendship and cooperation.

India-Maldives Relations

Maldives, situated south of India’s Lakshadweep Islands in the Indian Ocean, established diplomatic ties with India after gaining independence from British rule in 1966. India was among the earliest countries to acknowledge Maldives’ independence. Subsequently, India and Maldives have cultivated strong strategic, military, economic, and cultural bonds.

In 1981, India and Maldives signed a comprehensive trade agreement. Both countries are founding members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), the South Asian Economic Union, and signatories to the South Asia Free Trade Agreement.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the sole Head of State / Head of Government present at the inauguration ceremony of H.E. President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on November 17, 2018. Following the swearing-in ceremony, he engaged in bilateral discussions with President Solih, expressing India’s commitment to collaborating closely to support the developmental goals of Maldives, particularly in sectors such as infrastructure, healthcare, connectivity, and human resource development (HRD).

India-Seychelles Relations

Diplomatic ties between India and Seychelles have been in place since Seychelles gained independence in 1976. India’s resident high commissioner has been stationed in Victoria since 1987, and Seychelles established its resident mission in New Delhi in 2008.

The relationship between the two nations has been warm and cordial, with regular high-level exchange visits. Notable visits from India include those in June 2018, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared India’s provision of a US$100 million credit to enhance Seychelles’ defense capabilities.  Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Presidents R. Venkataraman and Pratibha Patil have also visited. From Seychelles, Presidents France Albert Rene, James Alix Michel, and Danny Faure have made state visits to India.

According to the Ministry of External Affairs of India, the relationship is characterized by “close friendship, understanding, and cooperation,” while Seychelles has described itself as a “rock of dependability for India in the Indian Ocean region.”

India-Bangladesh Relations

Diplomatic relations between India and Bangladesh formally began in 1971, following India’s recognition of an independent Bangladesh, formerly known as East Pakistan. This recognition came after India’s military intervention helped Bangladesh secure independence during the Bangladesh Liberation War.

On December 6, both countries celebrate Friendship Day to commemorate India’s recognition of Bangladesh and the ongoing friendship between the two nations. Trade between India and Bangladesh has seen a consistent upward trajectory over the past decade. Bangladesh has now become India’s leading trade partner in South Asia, with bilateral trade climbing from $10.8 billion in 2020-21 to $18 billion in 2021-2022.

During Sheikh Hasina’s trip to India in September 2022, both India and Bangladesh signed an agreement regarding the sharing of the waters of the common border river Kushiyara — marking the first such pact since the Ganga Waters Treaty of 1996. PM Modi described this period as a ‘Shonali Adhyaya’ or golden chapter in diplomacy

India-Mauritius Relations

India–Mauritius relations encompass historical, political, economic, military, social, and cultural connections between the Republic of India and the Republic of Mauritius. These connections date back to 1730, with formal diplomatic relations established in 1948, prior to Mauritius gaining independence. The cultural affinities and long historical ties between the two nations have fostered strong and cordial relations. Over 68% of the Mauritian population is of Indian origin, commonly known as Indo-Mauritians. India and Mauritius collaborate on combating piracy, a significant threat in the Indian Ocean region, and Mauritius supports India’s stance against terrorism.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Mauritian counterpart, Pravind Jugnauth, jointly inaugurated a new airstrip and jetty on the Mauritian archipelago of Agaléga on February 29, 2024, highlighting India’s commitment as a key security provider in the Indian Ocean Region.

India-Nepal Relations

As close neighbors, India and Nepal share a unique relationship of friendship and cooperation, characterized by open borders and deep-rooted people-to-people connections based on kinship and culture.

There has been a longstanding tradition of free movement of people across the India-Nepal border. Nepal, with an area of 147,181 sq. km and a population of 29 million, shares over 1,850 km of its southern border with five Indian states: Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, and Uttarakhand. To the north, it borders the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. The India-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 forms the foundation of the special relations between the two countries. Both nations are also members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).

In January 2021, the sixth Nepal-India Joint Commission (JC) meeting convened to address a range of bilateral concerns. Discussions encompassed topics including COVID-19 vaccines, boundary and border management, connectivity, trade, culture, and education. Following the meeting, India supplied Nepal with one million doses of the Covishield vaccine.

As India prepares for a new political era, Narendra Modi is set to begin his unprecedented third consecutive term as Prime Minister. Following the Lok Sabha election results, where the BJP-led NDA secured 240 out of 543 seats, Modi is positioned to lead again with NDA partners’ support. The swearing-in ceremony on June 9 at Rashtrapati Bhavan will see attendance from over 8,000 dignitaries, emphasizing India’s commitment to its ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy. This reflects India’s strong regional ties with neighboring countries.

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