In a first, Indian minister to address OIC meeting

Sushma Swaraj

Abu Dhabi — In a first, Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj will attend the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as the guest of honor.

This is the first time that an Indian foreign minister has been invited to the OIC meeting as a guest of honor.

A statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said Swaraj has been invited by the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of UAE, Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, as ‘guest of honor’ to address the inaugural plenary.

“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,” the statement said.

It said the invitation is being seen as a milestone in “our comprehensive strategic partnership with the UAE”.

The statement said, “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.”

Sheikh Abdullah will inaugurate the two-day meeting on March 1 in the presence of Dr. Yousef Al-Othaimeen, OIC Secretary General. — Agencies