Pakistan FM to skip OIC meet after UAE welcomes Sushma Swaraj

pak_foreign-minister Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi | AP

Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Friday declared he would not be attending the meeting of foreign ministers of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) states in Abu Dhabi after it was confirmed India would be attending.

Qureshi's statement came hours after Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj was welcomed in Abu Dhabi for the event. Swaraj will be addressing the plenary session of the OIC meeting on Friday.

Qureshi made the statement at a joint sitting of the Pakistan Parliament called to discuss the tension with India.

Qureshi was quoted by Pakistan's The News International as saying he requested the UAE to “either postpone the meeting, or the body (OIC) should review its decision to invite India.” Qureshi declared India was neither a member or an observer to the OIC; this was the first time India was invited to the OIC event.

Qureshi told Parliament that the UAE informed him that the invitation to India to attend the OIC conference was extended before the Pulwama attack.

The OIC had disinvited India from its conference in 1969 in Morocco at Pakistan's behest and has historically sided with Pakistan on the Kashmir issue.