Sushma Swaraj Image Credit: PTI

ABU DHABI: India will be participating as the ‘Guest of Honour’ in the 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, to be held in the capital.

Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has been invited by Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, minister of foreign affairs and international Cooperation, to participate in the event which will be held on March 1 and 2.

“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. We see this invitation as a milestone in our comprehensive strategic partnership with the UAE. We also see this invitation as a welcome recognition of the presence of 185 million Muslims in India and of their contribution to its pluralistic ethos, and of India’s contribution to the Islamic world,” India’s Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement.

It added, “India is, therefore, happy to accept the invitation to attend the inaugural plenary of the OIC meeting and we thank the leadership of the UAE for their invitation.”

The UAE’s minister of foreign affairs will inaugurate the meeting in the presence of Dr Yousuf Al Othaimeen, OIC secretary-general, with the participation of 56 member states and five observer states.

Earlier, Indian Ambassador in the UAE, Navdeep Suri, tweeted from the UAE statement which said, “The friendly country of India has been named as the guest of honour in view of its great global political stature as well as its time-honoured and deeply rooted cultural and historical legacy, and its important Islamic component.”

During the two-day conference, which coincides with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the OIC, foreign ministers will discuss a range of issues concerning peace and stability in the Muslim world, as well as integration and cooperation among OIC members.

The session’s agenda, which will be held under the theme ‘50 years of Islamic cooperation: Roadmap for prosperity and development”, includes the follow-up of many aspects of economic coordination that will push cooperation to new levels.