Highlights: MEA Sushma Swaraj's speech at OIC conclave
Abu Dhabi, Mar 1: Union Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj created history at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of Foreign Ministers on Friday. India has been invited by HH Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Foreign Minister of UAE as the 'Guest of Honour'.
It is for the first time that India has been invited to a meeting of the OIC, an influential grouping of 57 Islamic countries, as the Guest of Honour. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi boycotted the meeting saying, "I will not attend Council of Foreign Ministers as a matter of principle for having extended invitation as a Guest of Honour to Sushma Swaraj."
Highlights of MEA's speech:
- I stand here as a representative of a land, that has been for ages a fountain of knowledge, a beacon of peace, a source of faiths and traditions, and home to religions from the world & now, one of the major economies of the world.
- I carry the greetings of 1.3 billion Indians, including more than 185 million Muslim brothers and sisters. Our Muslims brothers and sisters are a microcosm of the diversity of India itself.
- In the past four years, few relationships have seen as much engagement, or has been so transformed, as India's relationship with #UAE and, indeed, with the entire Gulf and West Asia Region.
- In a sense, it is a return of history. India shares much with you. Many of us have experienced the dark days of colonialism. Many of us saw, the light of freedom and
- the bright ray of hope at the same time. We have stood together in solidarity, in our quest for justice and dignity.
- Terrorism and extremism bear different names and labels. It uses diverse causes. But in each case, it is driven by distortion of religion, and a misguided belief in its power to succeed.
- The fight against terrorism is not a confrontation against any religion. It cannot be. Just as Islam literally means peace,none of the 99 names of Allah mean violence. Similarly, every religion in the world stands for peace, compassion & brotherhood.
- India has always embraced and found it easy to embrace pluralism since it is embedded in the oldest Sanskrit religious text "The Rig Veda" and I quote "एकं सद्विप्रा बहुधा वदन्ति", which means
- "God is One but learned men describe Him in many ways".