Sushma Swaraj reaches Abu Dhabi to address OIC conclave

Abu Dhabi: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Friday reached Abu Dhabi to attend a conclave of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as a Guest of Honour.

“Recognising India’s engagement with the Islamic world. EAM SushmaSwaraj arrives in Abu Dhabi for the Ministerial Meeting of India has been invited by HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of UAE as the ‘Guest of Honour’,” tweeted Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

Swaraj will address the plenary of the two-day 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the 57-member body. She has been invited by UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to address the OIC meeting.

Swaraj, who will be attending as a ‘Guest of Honour’ despite Pakistan’s objections, will underscore India’s long and historical relationship with the OIC member countries, sources said on Thursday.

India considers its bilateral ties with the UAE as vital, the sources said.
Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has threatened to boycott the OIC meet if Swaraj participated.

Before Swaraj’s departure, Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, called Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to discuss the recent developments and urged the need for resumption of dialogue between the two countries.

“Mohamed bin Zayed makes telephone calls to Indian and Pakistani prime ministers, stresses importance of dealing wisely with recent developments and giving priority to dialogue and communication,” read a tweet.

The Indian Air Force strike on Tuesday in Balakot in Pakistan’s Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province destroyed a major terrorist training camp run by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and eliminated a “large number” of terrorists, including top commanders.

On Wednesday morning, India foiled an attempt by Pakistan Air Force to carry out strikes in Jammu and Kashmir by shooting down an F-16 fighter plane while losing its own MiG-21 jet after which a pilot was “missing in action”.