Sushma Swaraj to attend OIC conclave as ‘Guest of Honour’: What is Organisation of Islamic Cooperation?
Swaraj will attend the inaugural plenary of the two-day meeting on Friday. It is for the first time that India has been invited to an OIC meeting as guest of honour.
- Swaraj will attend the inaugural plenary of the two-day meeting today.
- It is for the first time that India has been invited to an OIC meeting as guest of honour.
- India's engagement with the OIC comes in the midst of escalating tension between India and Pakistan.
What is Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC)?
- The OIC is an international organization founded in 1969, consisting of 57 member states, with 40 countries being Muslim Majority countries.
- The 46th Session of the OIC's Council of Foreign Ministers will be held in Abu Dhabi from March 1 to 2.
- The meeting is a foreign ministers' meet of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) states, an influential grouping of 57 countries.
- The OIC had disinvited India from its conference in 1969 in Morocco at Pakistan's behest. The OIC has usually been supportive of Pakistan and often sided with Islamabad on the Kashmir issue.
- Last year, Bangladesh proposed restructuring of the charter of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation to pave way for the inclusion of non-Muslim countries like India as an "observer state" of the 50-year old grouping.
- This year, Foreign Minister of United Arab Emirates Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan invited Swaraj as the 'guest of honour' to address the inaugural plenary and that India was happy to accept the invitation.
The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) called the invitation 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. It is said that Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi had threatened to boycott a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) scheduled for this week in the UAE if India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj participates in the event.
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