Norway has not offered to mediate between India and Pakistan

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India and Pakistan are big enough countries to ensure that they can decrease bilateral tensions without help from outside, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said Monday.Solberg made the remarks during a media interaction after the inauguration of a new green compound at the Royal Norwegian Embassy here.

Asked if Norway could play the role of a mediator having a reputation of resolving conflicts, she said Norway had done a lot of work on mediation for peaceful settlement of disputes, but her government’s policy was clear –to help someone when asked for it.

“Nobody from the outside can create peace or make changes. It has to come from inside,” she said.So if there is a movement in India and Pakistan for greater talks together, other countries may help, but the process has to be “partner driven”, Solberg said.

“It’s true Norway has done a lot of work on the peaceful settlement. Nobody from outside can create peace. It has to come from inside. So if there is a movement in India and Pakistan for greater talks together, of-course countries can help, if there is a possibility”, the Norwegian prime minister said.

“It has to be those who are part of the conflict. I think both Pakistan and India are big enough countries to make sure that they can decrease tension between them without help from outside,” the Norwegian prime minister said.

Later, Norwegian ambassador to India Nils Ragnar Kamsvg, in a tweet, clarified that Solberg had not offered to mediate between India and Pakistan.

Norway has neither been asked nor offered to mediate, he said.

Solberg, while replying to a question on whether a military solution was possible in the Kashmir Valley, said, “I personally don’t believe that military solutions can solve problems, I believe in peaceful solutions. I believe in the participation of women and youth in peace negotiations.” She said military solutions are not always long lasting.

“There is no change in the government’s consistent and principled position that under the Shimla Agreement (1972) and as reiterated in the Lahore Declaration (1999), both India and Pakistan are committed to addressing all outstanding issues bilaterally. There is no scope for any third party role or mediation”, Sushma Swaraj had emphasized.

Solberg said that good relations with neighbours can also provide an opportunity for using less money on military and allocating more funds on health and education sectors.

The Norwegian prime minister, who arrived here this morning for a three-day visit, will hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday on a host of issues with an aim to expand the multi-faceted bilateral partnership.

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