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Pak Foreign Minister Says Will Not Attend OIC Meet Over Invite to Sushma Swaraj

Shah Mehmood Qureshi decided to boycott the meeting amid intense tensions between the two countries after host United Arab Emirates (UAE) said it would be difficult to withdraw the invitation extended to his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj.

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Updated:March 1, 2019, 12:55 PM IST
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Pak Foreign Minister Says Will Not Attend OIC Meet Over Invite to Sushma Swaraj
File photo of Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (Image: Reuters)
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New Delhi: Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told his country’s parliament on Friday that he would not attend the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) meet in Abu Dhabi, objecting to the presence of Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj amid intense tensions.

Qureshi added that host United Arab Emirates (UAE) had said it would be difficult to withdraw the invitation extended to Swaraj for the Council of Foreign Ministers. While Pakistan is a founding member of the OIC, India is not even an observer member.

Qureshi also told Pakistani lawmakers that he had spoken to Turkey, which, he said, had assured him that “they will play a role”. Interestingly, Turkey had, last year, supported a proposal for India to get observer status, which was blocked by Pakistan.

Qureshi had on Wednesday claimed that Turkey too was against India’s presence at the meeting.

"We believe India has committed aggression against a brother Islamic country and attacked a founding member of the OIC," Qureshi quoted Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying.

"The Turkish foreign minister said there is no reason for Indian foreign minister Sushma Swaraj to attend the meeting of the OIC and Turkey will fully oppose her invitation and opportunity to address," Qureshi had said.

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