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Pakistan's Prime Minister to attend swearing-in of Indian counterpart

By CNN Staff
updated 11:45 AM EDT, Sat May 24, 2014
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (shown in 2013) will attend the swearing-in of India's newly elected leader, Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif (shown in 2013) will attend the swearing-in of India's newly elected leader, Narendra Modi.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also will meet with Indian leaders after swearing-in
  • Narendra Modi's party won a resounding victory in India's national elections
  • Pakistan Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry also is expected to attend

(CNN) -- In an unprecedented move, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif will travel to New Delhi to attend the oath-taking ceremony Monday for India's new leader, Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said Saturday.

Prime Minister-designate Narendra Modi will be sworn in as the head of the world's largest democracy after his Bharatiya Janata Party won a resounding election victory.

As well as attending the ceremony, Sharif will have a bilateral meeting with Modi on Tuesday and will also meet with Indian President Shri Pranab Mukherjee, according to a statement from Pakistan's Foreign Ministry.

Foreign Secretary Aizaz Ahmad Chaudhry is expected to accompany Sharif, according to the statement.

India's next prime minister, Narendra Modi, greets supporters at his mother's home in Gandhinagar on Friday, May 16. Modi is the leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP. After a five-week-long election, the BJP swept the ruling Indian National Congress from power. Official results were expected later Friday. India's next prime minister, Narendra Modi, greets supporters at his mother's home in Gandhinagar on Friday, May 16. Modi is the leader of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP. After a five-week-long election, the BJP swept the ruling Indian National Congress from power. Official results were expected later Friday.
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India's external affairs ministry said Wednesday that invitations had been extended to the heads of all eight countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, which includes Sharif.

"This is the first time that India has invited all SAARC members to attend a swearing-in ceremony of a prime minister," ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said.

The attendance of Sharif at the ceremony may boost hopes of improved relations between the neighboring countries.

READ: Narendra Modi appointed as India's prime minister

READ: Memo to Modi: How to reboot India

CNN's Pierre Meilhan contributed to this report.

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