Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 17 June 2019

Muslim nations to discuss countering hate speech and extremism at OIC summit in Abu Dhabi

India's external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj will also attend as a special guest

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed will inaugurate the OIC meeting in Abu Dhabi on Friday. Reuters
Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed will inaugurate the OIC meeting in Abu Dhabi on Friday. Reuters

Foreign ministers from across the Muslim world will gather in Abu Dhabi this week to discuss ways to combat hate speech, extremism and the exploitation of religion.

The capital will host the 46th session of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, OIC, on Friday and Saturday March 1-2. The agenda will include political, social and economic topics, along with challenges facing the Muslim world.

The year's agenda is based around half a century of Islamic cooperation and a "road map for prosperity and development".

We see this invitation as a welcome recognition of the presence of 185 million Muslims in India

Indian foreign ministry

Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, will open the meeting in the presence of Dr Yousef Al Othaimeen, secretary general of the organisation, with the participation of 56 member states and five observer states.

During the two-day conference, which coincides with the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the OIC, the foreign ministers will discuss a range of issues regarding peace and stability in the Muslim world, as well as the integration and cooperation among the OIC members.

The council will also discuss decisions related to economic, humanitarian, science, technology, legal, regulatory, media, administrative and financial matters, as well as the OIC-2025: Programme of Action.

India has been named as the guest of honour in view of its "great global political stature", state news agency Wam reported, and its home to millions of Muslims.

Sushma Swaraj, Indian Minister for External Affairs, will attend the event, Indian media reported.

"We see this invitation as the desire of the enlightened leadership of the UAE to go beyond our rapidly growing close bilateral ties and forge a true multifaceted partnership at the multilateral and international level," India’s foreign ministry said.

"We see this invitation as a milestone in our comprehensive strategic partnership with the UAE. We also see this invitation as a welcome recognition of the presence of 185 million Muslims in India and of their contribution to its pluralistic ethos, and of India’s contribution to the Islamic world.

"India is, therefore, happy to accept the invitation to attend the Inaugural Plenary of the OIC meeting and we thank the leadership of the UAE for their invitation."

Updated: February 23, 2019 05:34 PM

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