In a first, India has been invited by the 57-member Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as a “Guest of Honour” for the inaugural plenary of its meeting of Foreign Ministers to be held on March 1, marking a major development.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been invited by Foreign Minister of United Arab Emirates Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to address the inaugural plenary of the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers to be held in Abu Dhabi, according to a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry.
India thanked the leadership of UAE for the invitation and said it is happy to accept it.
“First time as Guest of Honour,” External Affairs Ministry spokesman Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
India sees 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,” according to the MEA statement.
“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,” it said.
Founded in 1969, the OIC is a grouping of mostly the countries having Muslim majority.