Referring to Obama's acceptance of Modi's invitation to grace the Republic Day function as chief guest, Soni said, "It is a proof that the efforts of the Prime Minister to have cordial relations with maximum countries is paying dividend."

Though relations with a few neighbours were not very cordial, now the situation is gradually changing under the stewardship of Prime Minister Modi, said the former diplomat who was here to attend a function.

"Efforts of Modi for cordial relations with SAARC countries are paying positive result," he said, adding while relations with Nepal are improving, efforts to improve relations with Sri Lanka are gradually turning towards positive direction.

"The manner in which five Tamil fishermen on death row in Sri Lanka were released shows that Indian efforts of improving relations with Sri Lanka are getting momentum," he said.

Modi knows it well that unless cordial relations with the governments of Tamil Nadu and West Bengal are developed, relations with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka cannot be strengthened and China would take advantage of it, he claimed.

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