Bangladesh, the impoverished nation which organisers of the handover ceremony overlooked, has scored a diplomatic victory - an invitation to the event. Britain and China, which drew up the initial guest list, will now ask its Foreign Minister to join the ceremony after envoys raised the snub. 'We welcome the invitation and we are thankful for giving it the right consideration it deserved,' said Consul-General Badiuzzaman Khan. He had been informed an invitation was being sent with the approval of London and Beijing. Dhaka's protest to handover ceremony chief Stephen Lam Shui-lun about being left off the guest list was revealed by the South China Morning Post. Mr Khan said he understood Foreign Minister Abdus Samad Azad was likely to attend. No explanation had been provided by the Handover Ceremony Co-ordination Office over why Bangladesh had not been invited, he said. France's Foreign Minister Herve de Charette is understood to have passed up his invitation because he is 'too busy'. Instead, Paris is sending Senate Speaker Rene Monory who ranks higher than the Foreign Minister in protocol terms - he is second only to the President. Also part of the French delegation is renowned Sinologist Alain Peyrefitte, author of the 1970s bestseller When China Awakens, a former Minister and a special envoy for former Prime Minister Edouard Balladur when France's ties with China were normalised in 1994. Japan may make the unusual move of sending two or three former prime ministers to the ceremony as it celebrates the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations with China. Among them could be late 1980s prime minister Noboru Takeshita who has developed close ties with China and its leadership. Japan's Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda is also expected to attend as the Government's representative.