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Modi takes the oath as South Asian leaders look onů

New Delhi, May 26 (PTI): Narendra Modi's swearing-in as Prime Minister at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhawan on Monday was witnessed by South Asian leaders including Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai and Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and Maldives’ President Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayoom were also present at the ceremony attended by about over 3000 guests.

Bangladesh was represented by Speaker Shirin Chaudhury as Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina was on a visit to Japan.

This is the first time that the heads of state and government of SAARC nations were invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony of an Indian Prime Minister.

Besides the SAARC nations, Mauritian Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam also attended the swearing-in ceremony.

Sharif is accompanied by a delegation that has his Advisor on National Security and Foreign Affairs Sartaj Aziz, Special Assistant Tariq Fatemi and Foreign Secretary Aizaz Chaudhry among others.

Modi was administered the oath of office by President Pranab Mukherjee at a glittering ceremony attended by around 3,000 guests including outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, besides leaders of various other parties and Chief Ministers of a number of states.

Modi will have “short duration bilateral meetings” with all the SAARC leaders on Tuesday.


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