President Mohamed Muizzu is set to make his inaugural visit to India this weekend in response to an invitation to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s swearing-in ceremony. President Muizzu will depart for India on Saturday, according to media reports.

Modi, the leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition, is set to commence his third term on Sunday, following its victory in India’s recent general election.

While there has been no official confirmation from the President’s Office about President Muizzu’s visit, both local and Indian media have reported that the Indian government extended an invitation to President Muizzu. These reports also suggest that President Muizzu has accepted the invitation.

This visit is particularly noteworthy as it marks the first official visit to India by President Muizzu, who is known for his pro-China stance. This is a departure from the tradition followed by his predecessors, who typically made New Delhi their first port of call after assuming office.

President Muizzu will be accompanied on his visit to India by a delegation of high-level officials, according to local media. This delegation includes Minister of Foreign Affairs Moosa Zameer, Minister of Finance Mohamed Shafeeq, and Minister of Economic Development and Trade Mohamed Saeed.

Earlier this week, President Muizzu congratulated PM Modi and expressed his desire to work together to strengthen bilateral relations. “Congratulations to Prime Minister @narendramodi [Narendra Modi] and the BJP and BJP-led NDA, on the success in the 2024 Indian General Election, for the third consecutive term. I look forward to working together to advance our shared interests in pursuit of shared prosperity and stability for our two countries,” President Muizzu posted.

Prime Minister Modi’s swearing-in ceremony is expected to be a grand affair. Leaders from neighbouring countries, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Bhutan, Nepal, Mauritius, and the Seychelles, are on the guest list, which, according to reports, is guided by India’s ‘Neighbourhood First’ policy.

While it remains uncertain whether President Muizzu’s visit will result in any official talks between the two countries, the visit itself is seen as a significant step towards strengthening bilateral relations.