NEW DELHI: With an eye on strife-torn Gulf countries and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), India on Friday sought to bolster its relations with Egypt as both countries decided to work in the direction of evolving a universal definition of terrorism at the United Nations.
Pakistan has been raising the Kashmir issue at the OIC and the organisation has repeatedly issued statements contending that alleged human rights violation is not an internal issue of India. From this perspective, the maiden visit of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to India is significant as Cairo is an important member of the OIC. Also, Egypt is important as it is a stabile nation in the region.
Sources indicate that the ‘attitude’ of OIC, a grouping of 57 member states that acts as the collective voice of the Muslim world, was taken up with Egypt. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is said to have taken up the issue with the visiting Egyptian president and voiced India’s concerns over the issue.
Top Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) diplomat, secretary Amar Sinha in a briefing on the visit said: “You see, most of our partners, they have very good relations with us, but when it comes to OIC, they allow somebody else to run the agenda... so that is something we are trying to change because we would want our friends to take a stand.” He added that Egypt appreciates that Jammu and Kashmir is India’s internal matter.
India has also sought Cairo’s cooperation in seeing through the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT), a two decade-old proposal to define ‘terrorism’ at the United Nations. The draft has been opposed by three main blocs — the US, OIC and Latin American countries. The CCIT will mandate the 193-member states to pass domestic laws in sync with the Convention.