OIC chief meets India’s envoy in Saudi Arabia, offers mediation on Kashmir

New Delhi: In a rare development, India’s envoy to Saudi Arabia Dr Ausaf Sayeed and Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Secretary-General Dr Yousef Al-Othaimeen held a meeting on Monday (July 5). The meeting, which is being described as a “courtesy visit” in a release by OIC, took place at its headquarters in Jeddah.

According to the OIC release, during the meeting, Secretary-General Al-Othaimeen “conveyed the desire…to dispatch a delegation” to Kashmir and called for a “possibility of a meeting between Pakistan and India” in which the body is “ready to assist if the two parties would so request.”

OIC calling for a meet comes even as New Delhi and Islamabad have been engaged in back-channel diplomacy. But recent incidents of a drone attack in Jammu, and drone breaching security of Indian mission in Islamabad have cast a shadow on the positive developments.

The last such engagement between India and OIC took place in 2019 when the then Indian EAM Sushma Swaraj was invited as the “Guest of honor” at the OIC meet. The invite was extended by the host UAE for the OIC annual FMs meet that took place in Abu Dhabi. Islamabad, which sees the grouping as its area of influence was not very happy about it.

OIC and India don’t share a very positive relation, with India hitting out at the body a number of times for raking up the Kashmir issue.

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