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Swaraj going to OIC, to underscore India's historical ties with member countries: Sources


ANI Asia
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will attend the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) New meet beginning tomorrow in United Arab Emirates (UAE), marking a significant first for India.
Swaraj, who will be attending as "a Guest of Honour' despite Pakistan's objections, will underscore India's long and historical relationship with the OIC member countries, sources said on Thursday.
Swaraj will address the plenary of the two-day 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the 57-member body. She has been invited by UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan to address the OIC meet.
India considers its bilateral ties with the UAE as vital, the sources said.
Pakistan's Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has threatened to boycott the OIC meet if Swaraj participated.
The OIC on Tuesday "condemned" the aerial strikes carried out by India deep inside Pakistan, urging New Delhi and Islamabad to exercise restraint to avoid further provocations that would "endanger peace and security in the region."
It called on both sides to resume bilateral dialogue towards de-escalation of the current situation "as a matter of priority".
The Indian Air Force strike in Balakot in Pakistan's Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, destroyed a major terrorist training camp run by Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) and eliminated a "large number" of terrorists, including top commanders.
On Wednesday morning, India foiled an attempt by Pakistan Air Force to carry out strikes in Jammu and Kashmir by shooting down an F-16 fighter plane while losing its own MiG-21 jet after which a pilot was "missing in action".
Pakistan later acknowledged that Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, who ejected across the Line of Control, is in its custody.
On Thursday, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan announced that the IAF pilot will be released tomorrow as a "peace gesture.

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First Published: Feb 28 2019 | 5:33 PM IST

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