Published On: Sun, Oct 16th, 2016

Indian PM Narendra Modi meets President Maithripala Sirisena

12696981733Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday held a bilateral meeting with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena ahead of the BRICS-Bimstec Outreach Summit.

“Early morning bilaterals to begin a packed day of diplomacy. PM @narendramodi meets President @MaithripalaS of Sri Lanka for first engagement,” Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted along with a picture of the two leaders.

As host of this year`s BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa) Summit, India, as is the practice, can invite neighbouring countries to join in for an outreach summit.

Following last month’s cross-border terror attack on an Indian Army camp at Uri in Jammu and Kashmir that claimed the lives of 19 Indian soldiers, India chose to invite countries belonging to the Bimstec grouping over those of SAARC.

Countries belonging to the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) are India, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar, Thailand and Sri Lanka.

New Delhi blamed Pakistan-based terror outfit Jaish-e-Mohammed for the Uri attack and launched a diplomatic blitz to isolate Islamabad in the international community.

The invitation to Bimstec countries instead of the SAARC countries is being seen as another step in this direction.

Source – Zee News

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