Saudi Arabia to convene OIC meeting on Kashmir

Saudi Arabia plans to convene a meeting of the foreign ministers of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on Kashmir, in an apparent move by Riyadh to please Pakistan which skipped a recent summit of Muslim nations in Malaysia seen by Riyadh as an attempt to create a new bloc to replace the dysfunctional OIC led by it.

Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan conveyed this to his Pakistani counterpart Shah Mehmood Qureshi during a meeting with him at the Foreign Office on Thursday, Dawn reported, quoting a diplomatic source.

He was on a day-long visit to Islamabad to convey the Saudi leadership’s gratitude to Pakistan for not participating in the recently held Kuala Lumpur summit of Muslim nations in view of the Gulf Kingdom’s reservations, the paper reported.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had confirmed Pakistan’s participation in the summit hosted by Malaysia, but skipped the event at the eleventh hour due to pressure exerted by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – key financial backers of the cash-stripped country.

Qureshi briefed Prince Faisal on the situation in Kashmir in the aftermath of India’s move to abrogate article 370 on August 5.

The OIC is a 57-member grouping of Muslim majority nations, including Pakistan. The body has usually been supportive of Pakistan and often sided with Islamabad on the Kashmir issue.