President hosts banquet for neighbouring countries' leaders attending PM Modi's swearing-in ceremony

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New Delhi, Jun 9 (PTI) President Droupadi Murmu on Sunday hosted a banquet for the leaders of neighbouring countries attending the swearing-in ceremony of Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here, an official statement said.

The president also wished Modi success as "he took on his high responsibility in the service of our people".

Modi was sworn in as the Prime Minister on Sunday for a record-equalling third term, heading a 72-member Union Council of Ministers that put emphasis on continuity, youth and experience while also rewarding partners in the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government.

"Leaders who attended the banquet include the President of Sri Lanka, Ranil Wickremesinghe; the President of the Maldives, Mohamed Muizzu; the Vice President of Seychelles, Ahmed Afif; the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina; the Prime Minister of Mauritius, Pravind Kumar Jugnauth and (his spouse) Kobita Jugnauth; the Prime Minister of Nepal, Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda; and the Prime Minister of Bhutan, Tshering Tobgay," it said.

Welcoming the leaders, the president thanked them for accepting the invitation for the swearing-in ceremony of the new government, and "for joining us in this celebration of democracy", said the statement issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

She noted that their presence on this occasion is yet another testament to the centrality of India’s ‘Neighborhood First’ policy, and "our SAGAR Vision for the Indian Ocean region".

"As stakeholders in each other’s progress and well-being, we count on our closest friends and neighbours to work with us to foster peace and prosperity in our region and beyond," Murmu said. PTI AKV AKV ANB ANB