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New India PM Modi to hold talks with Pakistani rival

Published on May 27, 2014 6:03 AM
India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi (right) greets India's President Pranab Mukherjee after taking his oath at the presidential palace in New Delhi on May 26, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW DELHI (AFP) - India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi was expected to hold landmark talks with his Pakistani counterpart and announce his new Cabinet on Tuesday, May 27, 2014, as he looked to hit the ground running on his first day in office.

The morning after Mr Modi and his slimmed-down team of ministers were sworn in, the right-wing leader was to host Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in a bid to ease tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours.

Mr Sharif was one of six regional leaders to attend the lavish inauguration on Monday evening for Mr Modi, a former tea boy who has been elected leader of the world's largest democracy with the strongest mandate for 30 years.

Mr Modi has an image as a hardliner, even within his own Hindu nationalist party, and is regarded with deep suspicion by many in Pakistan after deadly anti-Muslim riots erupted in his western fiefdom a decade ago.

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