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Riyadh maintained neutrality over the Kashmir issue at the Kuala Lumpur Summit


While the issue of Kashmir was not specifically mentioned by Saudi Arabia as one of the issues from the Muslim world, Riyadh has maintained neutrality over the Kashmir issue since August 5.

The division in the Islamic Ummah came to fore with Saudi Arabia advising Malaysia to refrain from splitting Organisation Islamic Conference(OIC) and raising issues related to Muslims at the Kuala Lumpur Summit that was launched on Wednesday. The suggestion by Saudi Arabia also had backing of UAE another powerful member of OIC.

The Kingdom backed India on the issue of cross-border terror during PM Narendra Modi’s trip to Riyadh in October. UAE had described decision to scrap Article 370 as an internal matter of India. The Saudi advice even shaped Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision as he cancelled his visit to Malaysia at the last moment where he was scheduled to address the Kuala Lumpur Summit, a meet which he helped to organise. Pakistan not only withdrew from this Summit but even retracted statement it issued in anticipation of UNSC closed-door session that was originally scheduled to discuss Kashmir issue at the behest of China. But the item was withdrawn from agenda after four other permanent members of UNSC besides few others were opposed to it.

Riyadh, which had extended a helping hand to the Pakistan’s Tehreek-i-Insaf government in its early days to stave off economic crisis, wanted Islamabad to stay away from the event.

Saudi Arabia and UAE aren’t comfortable with the Kuala Lumpur Summit that began on Wednesday as they were worried that it could cause “division in Ummah” and lead to the setting up of an organisation under Malaysia’s leadership parallel to the existing Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) which has traditionally been guided by Saudi Arabia. Source: Economic Times

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