Bangaldesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and Myanmar's Foreign Minister Aung San Suu Kyi on Sunday arrived in Goa to attend BRICS-BIMSTEC Outreach Summit and to hold bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In her first visit to India after her party National League of Democracy swept the parliamentary elections, Suu Kyi’s is scheduled to attend a ceremonial lunch hosted by Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar for all participants of BIMSTEC, after which she will attend the BRICS and BIMSTEC Outreach Summit later in the evening, with other leaders of the two groupings.
Earlier today, Prime Minister held a bilateral meeting with Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena and with his Bhutanese counterpart Tshering Tobgay.
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 September 18 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.
Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Maldives are the members of the South Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) that are also not members of BIMSTEC.
(With IANS inputs)