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UAE should have spoken to us before inviting Sushma Swaraj to OIC, says Pakistan

Pakistan on Thursday said it has conveyed reservations over Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s presence at the upcoming Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in the UAE.

world Updated: Feb 28, 2019 20:36 IST
Indo Asian News Service
Indo Asian News Service
Islamabad
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (ANI)

Pakistan on Thursday said it has conveyed reservations over Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj’s presence at the upcoming Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meeting in the UAE in the wake of rising tensions between the two neighbours.

India has been invited for the very first time to attend the Foreign Ministers’ conclave in Abu Dhabi in March where Sushma Swaraj will be the “guest of honour”.

“India is neither a member of OIC nor an observer. The host country had invited the Indian Foreign Minister as a guest speaker for one inaugural session. I have spoken to the United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister and apprised him of Pakistan’s reservations,” Foreign Minister Qureshi was quoted as saying by Geo News.

“I told him that he should have spoken to us before inviting (Sushma) Swaraj,” he said, adding that he was not hesitant to meet his Indian counterpart, but OIC was not the forum for talks with her.

Qureshi had on Wednesday said that he will not attend the OIC meet due to his Indian counterpart’s presence.

Talking about the OIC’s invitation to the Indian Foreign Minister, Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) President Shehbaz Sharif said the body should have “condemned India’s brutality in Kashmir instead of inviting them as a guest of honour”.

“This is not acceptable to us,” he was quoted as saying by Dawn newspaper.

First Published: Feb 28, 2019 20:33 IST