Abu Dhabi: Despite tension between India and Pakistan over Kashmir this week, a senior Indian official confirmed that no efforts had been made to mediate at the ongoing Organisation of Islamic Cooperation summit in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
“There was no offer to mediate [between India and Pakistan] from any OIC members,” said T.S. Tirumurti, a secretary at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), in response to a question from journalists at a press conference on India’s participation at the OIC summit in the capital.
About the possible tone of resolution on Jammu and Kashmir to be adopted by the OIC summit, he said: “We have opened a new chapter in our relationship with the OIC. At this juncture I don’t want to speculate about what sort of resolution will come out. Our position has been made very clear. Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and we will not let anyone intervene in our internal affairs.”
Raveesh Kumar, official spokesperson of MEA, said the officials did not want to answer further questions on India-Pakistan tension, as the press conference was only meant to detail India’s presence at the summit.
Trimurti said Friday was a historic day in India’s engagement with the OIC. Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s earlier address as the guest of honour, for the first time in the OIC’s history, was well received, he said.
The official added that India had already extended more than $12 billion (Dh44 billion) lines of credit and $4 billion as ground assistance to OIC member countries under development partnerships. Around 2,000 annual educational loans have also been extended.
The OIC member countries host around 12 million strong Indian diaspora.
Trade between India and the OIC bloc is also worth $230 billion, which constitutes 30 per cent of India’s total external trade, according to Tirumurti.
Navdeep Singh Suri, the Indian Ambassador to the UAE, detailed the highlights of the comprehensive strategic partnership between India and the UAE. The officials said Swaraj attended a lunch hosted by Shaikh Abdulla Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Ministers for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Friday. She also held bilateral meetings with foreign ministers of other OIC member countries before leaving Abu Dhabi late on Friday evening.