In a first, India has been invited by the 57-member Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as a "Guest of Honour" for the inaugural plenary of it meeting of Foreign Ministers to be held on March 1, marking a major development.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj has been invited by the Foreign Minister of United Arab Emirates Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to address the inaugural plenary of the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers to be held in Abu Dhabi, according to a statement issued by the External Affairs Ministry.
Thanking the leadership of UAE for the invitation, India said that it accept the honour. External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted, "First time as Guest of Honour".
In another tweet, MEA spokesperson said that India sees this invitation as a welcome recognition by the OIC of the presence of 185 million Muslims in the country, and of India's contribution to the Islamic world.
"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 sees this invitation as a milestone in our comprehensive strategic partnership with the UAE," MEA statement read.
Founded in 1969, the OIC is a grouping of mostly the countries having Muslim majority.
(With agency inputs)