Pakistan PM Sharif arrives in India for Modi's swearing-in

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif waves upon his arrival at the airport in New Delhi on May 26, 2014. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in New Delhi on Monday, May 26, 2014, for the swearing-in ceremony of his incoming Indian cou
Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif waves upon his arrival at the airport in New Delhi on May 26, 2014. Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in New Delhi on Monday, May 26, 2014, for the swearing-in ceremony of his incoming Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in a symbolic meeting of the two regional rivals. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (AFP) - Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif arrived in New Delhi on Monday for the swearing-in ceremony of his incoming Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in a symbolic meeting of the two regional rivals.

Mr Sharif smiled and waved to television cameras after landing at the capital's main airport, where he was greeted by Indian dignitaries and given a bouquet, ahead of the ceremony later on Monday.

Mr Modi's invitation to Mr Sharif has been interpreted as a significant olive branch to India's neighbour and it marks the first time that a leader from either country has attended his counterpart's inauguration since independence in 1947.

Mr Sharif, who has hailed Mr Modi's "impressive victory", accepted the invite which was extended to all heads of government from the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) that includes Pakistan.

India and Pakistan have fought three wars since independence in 1947 and bilateral ties broke down after the 2008 attacks by Pakistani gunmen on Mumbai in which 166 people were killed.

Relations warmed slightly towards the end of the term of outgoing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh but still remain frosty, with mutual distrust and regular skirmishes along their disputed Kashmir border.

Mr Modi and Mr Sharif are expected to hold bilateral talks on Tuesday.