New Delhi, Feb 23 : India, for the first time, will attend a the meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) as "guest of honour" with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj invited to address the inaugural plenary of its council of ministers meeting next month.
Sushma Swaraj has been invited by United Arab Emirates (UAE) Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to address the inaugural plenary of the 46th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers slated to take place in Abu Dhabi on March 1-2.
The External Affairs Ministry said in a statement it was happy to accept the invitation which was 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.
"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," the statement said.
It said the invitation was "a milestone" in the bilateral comprehensive strategic partnership with the UAE.
"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 statement said.