World Asia 01 Mar 2019 Will skip OIC meet i ...

Will skip OIC meet if Sushma Swaraj shows up: Pakistan foreign minister

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | SHAFQAT ALI
Published Mar 1, 2019, 2:35 am IST
Updated Mar 1, 2019, 3:34 am IST
The Indian minister has been invited as a ‘guest of honour’ at the inaugural session of the foreign ministers' conclave in Abu Dhabi.
Shah Mehmood Qureshi
 Shah Mehmood Qureshi

Islamabad: Pakistan foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has said he will not attend a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) scheduled for March 1 (today) if Indian external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj participated in it.

The Indian minister has been invited as a ‘guest of honour’ at the inaugural session of the foreign ministers' conclave in Abu Dhabi.

 

Mr Qureshi said, “I have no reservations with OIC or any other Islamic country. My reservations are with Indian foreign minister Sushma Swar-aj's attendance at the OIC meeting.”

He added: “If Swaraj attends the meeting, I will not participate in it," the foreign minister asserted. Mr Qureshi said UN Secretary-General Anto-nio Guterres and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu telephoned him. “The Turkish foreign minister telephoned me himself and sought to be briefed on the current situation.”

He said: “Turkey is fully standing behind Pakis-tani people and government. The Turkish foreign minister said the prayers and cooperation of Turks are with their Pakistani brothers and sisters.”

Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in his telephonic conversation with Mr Qureshi had assured him that Turkey also declared opposition to the move for the Indian external affairs minister to speak at the OIC meeting in Abu Dhabi.

Turkey also offered me-diation to ease the tensio-ns between Islamabad an-d New Delhi on Wednes-day after Pakistan Air F-orce (PAF) struck down two Indian Air Force pla-nes and captured a pilot.

Mr Cavusoglu said that he has told Pakistan that “Turkey is willing to mediate between India and Pakistan”. According to the Turkish media, the minister said that he had a phone contact with his Pakistani counterpart, but not with any Indian official yet.

Mr Qureshi said that the UN Secretary General had also telephoned him and while expressing concern over the current situation in Pakistan, assured to play his role in whatever way and manner he could.

“India has been told in no uncertain terms that its continuous ceasefire violations are a threat to regional peace and security and may lead to a strategic miscalculation,” he said.

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