Abu Dhabi: “I carry the greetings of 1.3 billion Indians, including more than 185 million Muslim brothers and sisters. Our Muslims brothers and sisters are a microcosm of the diversity of India itself,” said Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj at the inaugural plenary meeting of Organization of Islamic Countries(OIC), setting the tone of her speech to the leaders of 57 Islamic countries.
While the Minister said that the fight against terrorism is not a confrontation against any religion, she urged the OIC members to tell States who provide infrastructure and funds to terrorists to stop sheltering and funding their activities.
She, however, stopped short of naming Pakistan in her address.
The External Affairs Minister also reminded those present about India’s age old tradition of pluralism by citing from the Rig Veda.
Sushma Swaraj said that India considered it as a matter of pride to be invited as the guest of honour at the OIC meet. India’s invitation to the inaugural meet of OIC gains huge significance especially in the background of stand-off with Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi boycotted the event over Pakistan’s displeasure of Indian presence.
India’s participation at the OIC meet as guest of honour is yet another major diplomatic win for the country. Earlier, United Arab Emirates, where the meet is being held, refused to budge against Pakistan’s demand to cancel the invitation offered to India.