Qureshi, Sushma may come face to face in Abu Dhabi

Published February 24, 2019
The meeting will be held in Abu Dhabi on March 1 and 2.— AFP/File
The meeting will be held in Abu Dhabi on March 1 and 2.— AFP/File

NEW DELHI: Foreign ministers of India and Pakistan could come face to face in Abu Dhabi on March 1 where Delhi has been invited in a rare move to address the plenary meeting of OIC foreign ministers.

India’s Ministry of External Affairs has said that the invitation to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj to address the Inaugural Plenary of the 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) is 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”.

Take a look: Modi reminds Imran of promise to fight poverty with India

The meeting will be held in Abu Dhabi on March 1 and 2, for which Ms Swaraj has been invited by Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as the ‘Guest of Honour’. The Indian ministry did not mention any possibility of a meeting between Indian and Pakistan foreign ministers.

The OIC describes itself as “the collective voice of the Muslim world”, and its stated objective is “to safeguard and protect the interests of the Muslim world in the spirit of promoting international peace and harmony among various people of the world”.

In the past the group has criticised India’s human rights abuse in occupied Kashmir.

The invitation to India to the OIC meeting coincides with the recent visit to Pakistan and India by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who has advocated a peaceful resolution to the differences between the two countries, including their current standoff following the Pulwama attack.

The Indian Express said the OIC has reserved its membership for Muslim-majority countries. Russia, Thailand, and couple of other small countries have observer status. At the 45th session of the Foreign Ministers’ Summit in May 2018, Bangladesh, the host country, had suggested that India, where more than 10 per cent of the world’s Muslims live, should be given observer status, but Pakistan had opposed the proposal.

The first-time invitation to India to be a ‘Guest of Honour’ at the plenary, especially at a time of heightened tensions with Pakistan following the Pulwama terrorist attack, is a significant diplomatic victory for New Delhi, the Express said.

Published in Dawn, February 24th, 2019

Opinion

Editorial

Kindness needed
Updated 20 Jun, 2024

Kindness needed

This year’s World Refugee Day theme — solidarity with refugees — includes keeping our borders accessible and addressing the hurdles they face.
Fitch’s budget note
20 Jun, 2024

Fitch’s budget note

PAKISTAN’S ongoing economic crisis is multifaceted. At one end, the government must pursue stabilisation policies...
Cruelty to animals
20 Jun, 2024

Cruelty to animals

TWO recent incidents illustrate the immense cruelty many in this country subject voiceless animals to. In the first...
Price bombs
Updated 18 Jun, 2024

Price bombs

It just wants to take the easy route and enjoy the ride for however long it is in power.
Palestine’s plight
Updated 17 Jun, 2024

Palestine’s plight

While the faithful across the world are celebrating with their families, thousands of Palestinian children have either been orphaned, or themselves been killed by the Israeli aggressors.
Profiting off denied visas
Updated 19 Jun, 2024

Profiting off denied visas

The staggering rejection rates underscore systemic biases in the largely non-transparent visa approval process.