EAM Sushma Swaraj invited as 'Guest of Honour' to attend 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of OIC, a first
By Smriti | PUBLISHED: 25, Feb 2019, 20:20 pm IST | UPDATED: 25, Feb 2019, 20:30 pm IST
In a first Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has been invited by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates as the "Guest of Honour” to address the Inaugural Plenary.
The 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation will be held in Abu Dhabi on 1st and 2nd March, 2019. The theme will be '50 years of Islamic cooperation: Road map for prosperity and development. The agenda will include a number of political, social, and economic topics, along with challenges facing the Muslim world.
Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is a powerful grouping of Muslim majority nations.
This is the first time that India has been invited to an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting as a guest of honour.
MEA release said, 'We see this invitation as the desire of the enlightened leadership of the UAE to go beyond our rapidly growing close bilateral ties and forge a true multifaceted partnership at the multilateral and international level. We see this invitation as a milestone in our comprehensive strategic partnership with the UAE. We also see this invitation as a welcome recognition of the presence of 185 million Muslims in India and of their contribution to its pluralistic ethos, and of India’s contribution to the Islamic world.'
India’s presence at OIC is crucial, especially at a time when it has been pitching diplomatic efforts against Pakistan to isolate it internationally following the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 CRPF personnel were killed. The OIC has usually been supportive of Pakistan and, often sided with Islamabad on the Kashmir issue.
Last year, Bangladesh proposed the restructuring of the charter of the OIC to pave way for the inclusion of non-Muslim countries like India as an “observer state” of the 50-year old grouping.