Millennium Post

India gets 1st OIC invite as Guest of Honour

NEW DELHI: Amidst high tension between India and Pakistan following the terrorist attack on CRPF Jawans in Pulwama, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) for the first time ever has invited India's Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj to attend the 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers as 'Guest of Honour' in UAE on March 1 and 2.

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 in Abu Dhabi. Since the inception of OIC in 1969, a conglomerate of 56 countries of most of the Islamic nation of the world, India has been trying to enter the organisation as nation which has the third largest Muslim population. Late President Fakruddin Ali Ahmed was once invited but denied entry as Pakistan objected.

As Swaraj has been invited to speak at the plenary session as a guest speaker, it is expected that she would articulate India's views on the recent terror attack. This has also a grater diplomatic significance that for the first time the external affairs minister and Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mwhomood Qureshi ate expected to be present under the same roof. This might be a first eyeball to eyeball contact, with two senior leaders of India and Pakistan post-Pulwama.

Only last year in the month of May Bangladesh Foreign Minister A H Mahood Ali, with support from Turkey, moved a resolution to make India an observer country in the OIC.

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