Sushma Swaraj: First Indian leader since 1969 to attend Islamic nations meet
During Sushma Swaraj’s stint as the Minister of External Affairs, India witnessed a major diplomatic victory when the nation was invited to an Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting for the first time.
Sushma Swaraj became the first from India to address the OIC meeting in Abu Dhabi as the guest of honour.
The United Arab Emirates had invited the then Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj to attend the foreign ministers’ meet of the OIC states on March 1-2. It was the first such invite in five decades.
The OIC is a 57-member grouping of Muslim majority nations. The organisation, which claims to be “the collective voice of the Muslim world”, had kept India at bay for a very long time.
Although India has a Muslim majority, it was evicted from the OIC conference in 1969, the Quint quoted the former Indian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Talmiz Ahmed, as saying.
“This is a historic victory for India, a major triumph for Indian diplomacy…This (invitation) is the result of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s outreach to both the UAE and Saudi Arabia,” Talmiz Ahmed had said.
While addressing the inaugural plenary 46th meeting of OIC foreign ministers for the first time, Sushma Swaraj had boldly cornered Pakistan for harbouring terrorists on its soil. However, she did not mention Pakistan in her address.
“If we want to save humanity, we must tell the states who provide shelter and funding to terrorists, to dismantle the infrastructure of the terrorist camps and stop providing funding shelter and funding to terror organisations based in that country,” Sushma Swaraj had said.
Her statement came amid escalated tensions between India and Pakistan after the Pulwama attack in February this year.
Courtesy : India Today