India invited to OIC’s session in Abu Dhabi

February 24, 2019

TEHRAN - In a significant development, India has been invited as the ‘guest of honor’ in a meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Abu Dhabi early next month.

Indian government has called the invitation a "welcome recognition" of the presence of 185 million Muslims in India. India has the largest Muslim population in the world after Indonesia.

Quoting official sources, state-run news agency PTI said foreign minister Sushma Swaraj will attend the 46th session of the OIC's council of foreign ministers to be held in Abu Dhabi from March 1 to 2.

The invitation comes at a time of heightened tensions between India and Pakistan following a terror attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir in which 40 security personnel were killed.

OIC has generally been supportive of Pakistan’s position on Kashmir, and has often condemned India’s excesses in the region. So, this invite assumes a lot of significance, especially after Pulwama attack.

“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” India’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

Last year, Bangladesh had proposed restructuring of the charter of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to pave way for the inclusion of non-Muslim countries like India as an ‘observer state’ of the 50-year old organization.

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