The Special Media Briefing underway in Abu Dhabi, UAE on Friday
The Special Media Briefing underway in Abu Dhabi, UAE on Friday

No OIC member-state offered to mediate between India, Pak: MEA

ANI | Updated: Mar 01, 2019 20:29 IST

Abu Dhabi [UAE], Mar 1 (ANI): India on Friday put forth that no OIC member-state offered to mediate between India and Pakistan in the wake of tense relations between the neighbours, on the sidelines of the 46th Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Foreign Ministers Meeting here.
"There was no offer to mediate (between India and Pakistan) by any OIC member," Secretary (ER) TS Tirupathi said at a special media briefing.
He, however, refused to comment on a question related to Saudi Arabia and UAE's alleged involvement in Pakistan releasing detained Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander AbhinandanVarthaman.
India also put forth its nonchalance with regard to Pakistan's absence from the meeting, with Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar stating, "We are not keeping an attendance sheet of the ministers who are coming or not coming. As the secretary has mentioned we are very grateful that we have been invited by the UAE to participate and we are very happy to participate at the OIC Minister's meeting."
The MEA Spokesperson, India's Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Navdeep Singh Suri, and Tirumurti were present at the briefing, which was held after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj gave her inaugural address at the OIC meeting.
The 57-member OIC invited India as the ‘guest of honour’ for the first time in its 50-year history.
"As the official announcement by the United Arab Emirates mentioned...the invitation to India was extended in recognition of India's global political stature as well as its time-honoured and deep-rooted cultural and historical legacy and its important Islamic component," Tirumurti stated while calling it a "historic day."
He reaffirmed the stand against terrorism taken by Swaraj in her address earlier, adding, "She underlined that the fight against terrorism is not a confrontation against any religion."
Responding to a question on the tone of resolution on Kashmir following India's participation at the OIC, the MEA stated: "Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and we will not let anyone interfere in our internal affairs and that position stands."
All three representatives outlined the closeness of relations between India and OIC member-states. They also shed light on the strengthening of bilateral ties with the UAE.
"Member-states of the OIC inter alia serve as the primary source of our energy security," Tirumurti mentioned.
"It is worth mentioning that more than USD 12 billion has been extended as Lines of Credit and nearly USD 4 billion as grant assistance to OIC member countries under our development partnership. In addition, India also offers around 4,500 high-tech slots and 2,000 educational scholarships annually to OIC countries contributing to their capacity-building in a very big way," Tirumurti said.
"The trade between India and OIC countries was around USD 230 billion amounting to 30 per cent of our total trade," he added while talking about trade.
Furthermore, he reiterated the statements made by Swaraj at her inaugural address at the OIC earlier in the day, noting all the bilateral steps which have been taken by India and UAE in strengthening relations.
The UAE is India's third largest trading partner with bilateral trade amounting to USD 53 billion.
Swaraj will be attending the reception held by UAE in the evening, before heading back to India. She earlier met with her Maldivian and Bangladeshi counterparts on the sidelines of the OIC meeting.
"We acquired our first oil concession here last year and in the next week or so you may get some news on further development," the Indian Ambassador to UAE announced at the briefing.
"In the area of strategic petroleum reserves, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company partnered with us to establish our first strategic petroleum reserve in Mangalore and talks are already underway on a second one," Suri added.
Pakistan had raised "strong objections" to India's participation at the OIC meeting, choosing to skip the conference at Abu Dhabi in protest.
Before the conference, Pakistan had conveyed its objections over the invitation to India but those were disregarded by the grouping and the host country UAE.
The Pakistan Foreign Ministry claimed that “India has no moral or legal grounds to be present at the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers.” (ANI)