Political / Sushma Swaraj likely to raise terror issue at OIC meet today

Hindustan Times : Mar 01, 2019, 12:51 PM

Sushma Swaraj is expected to raise the issue of terror when she represents India for the first time at a meeting of foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in UAE, people familiar with developments. Swaraj will address the inaugural plenary session of the meeting in Abu Dhabi on March 1 as a guest of honour, have described the invitation to India as a key foreign policy success in efforts.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to raise the issue of terror when she represents India for the first time at a meeting of foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in the UAE, people familiar with developments said on Thursday.

Swaraj will address the inaugural plenary session of the meeting in Abu Dhabi on March 1 as a guest of honour, and officials have described the invitation to India as a key foreign policy success in efforts to strengthen relations with Arab and Muslim-majority countries.

Islamabad has conveyed its concerns over New Delhi’s participation to the OIC in the wake of the Indian air strike on a Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) camp at Balakot on Tuesday - the first time in 48 years fighters jets from India entered Pakistani air space for an operation. Acting largely due to pressure from Pakistan, OIC had condemned the air strike as an “incursion and aerial violation” and urged both countries to seek peaceful solutions to the crisis through dialogue.

The Indian side, however, is unfazed by this criticism because of the symbolic importance of the invitation from the OIC in the face of opposition from Pakistan, a founding member of the 56-member grouping.

“There is expected to be a reference to terror by the external affairs minister at OIC,” said a person familiar with developments who spoke on condition of anonymity. “We will attend. Don’t attach much importance to a statement put out by the (OIC) secretariat at the behest of Pakistan to deter us from attending,” the person added.