OIC members saddened by India-Pak tensions, discuss de-escalation: Palestinian foreign minister

The boycott by Pakistan has not gone down well with the member states of the OIC. Expressing his sadness over the escalating situation between India and Pakistan, Riad Malik said, “It is bad. But, still we will do our best to bring about an understanding for the two sides to sit and talk to each other”.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addresses the OICCFM46 meet in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (Photo: Twitter/@OIC_OCI

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj addresses the OICCFM46 meet in Abu Dhabi, UAE. (Photo: Twitter/@OIC_OCI

India made history on Friday by attending the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC conference for the first time. Amid increased tensions between India and Pakistan, it is a diplomatic achievement to be invited as the guest of honour for the 46th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers on Friday in Abu Dhabi.

Speaking exclusively to India Today Dr Riad Malik, Foreign Minister of the State of Palestine, said, “We have been saying all the time that outside of the Muslim countries, India has the largest Muslim population. So, it is very important that if India is not a member of the OIC then at least the relationship of the OIC and India has to be at excellent level in order for us to be able to discuss all issues and have great ties that India has with many countries of our region.”

The boycott by Pakistan has not gone down well with the member states of the OIC. Expressing his sadness over the escalating situation between India and Pakistan, Riad Malik said, “It is bad. But, still we will do our best to bring about an understanding for the two sides to sit and talk to each other”.

He added that some of the member states of the OIC had met Thursday night to discuss the ways to defuse tensions between the two nations who are friends of the Muslim world.

“We are deeply saddened with the escalation of the situation between India and Pakistan. As a country that is friendly with both countries, we would like to do the utmost with many others and that is why last night we were meeting with other members of this organisation to see what we can do to bring about a rapprochement between the two and to see how through dialogue we can de-escalate matters and solve such problems,” said Malik.

He also appreciated the fact that External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj mentioned the cause of Palestine in her speech. “She mentioned Palestine. Palestine has been always clearly in India’s foreign policy. India has stood by Palestine in their right for self determination… We are working in order to enhance bilateral cooperation in all aspects”, he said.