Norway clarifies on Kashmir role

Norway's Prime Minister Erna Solberg speaks during India-Norway Business Conference in New Delhi, India, January 7, 2019. REUTERS

Norway on Monday clarified that its Prime Minister Erna Solberg, who is now on a tour to New Delhi, had not offered to mediate between India and Pakistan to help settle the dispute over Kashmir.

“PM @erna_solberg (Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg) has not offered to mediate between India and Pakistan as has been erroneously reported. Norway has neither been asked nor offered to mediate,” Oslo's envoy to New Delhi Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg, posted on Twitter.

Kamsvåg had to clarify as Solberg's comment during an interview to a TV channel fuelled speculation if Norway was offering to play the role of a mediator between India and Pakistan to help settle the dispute over Kashmir. Even the separatists of Jammu and Kashmir, too, welcomed what was interpreted as an offer of mediation on behalf of Norway. "Welcome Prime Minister of Norway @erna_solberg's statement with regards to the resolution of the #Kashmir dispute. We also welcome their offer of mediation to facilitate peace in the region,” chairman of the All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, tweeted.

Solberg in fact told the TV channel in response to a query that if both India and Pakistan were willing to talk and if both asked Norway to help, then Norwegian Government would try to use “mechanisms”.

Norway had unsuccessfully mediated to resolve the ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka in the past decade.

Former Norwegian Prime Minister Kjell Magne Bondevik had visited Jammu and Kashmir a couple of months ago and met separatist leaders. New Delhi and Oslo had clarified that he had come to India on a private visit.

Solberg will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

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Norway clarifies on Kashmir role


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