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Norway denies media reports that its PM has offered to mediate between India and Pakistan

Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg talked to Indian media on the first day of her three day visit

The Norwegian ambassador to India Nils Ragnar Kamsvåg has issued a clarification saying that the reports of Norwegian prime minister Erna Solberg offering to mediate between India and Pakistan are wrong. He said that no country has asked Norway for mediation, and Norway also has made no such offer.

Quoting an interview of Erna Solberg with NDTV journalist Nidhi Razdan, some media houses had reported the PM of Norway has offered to mediate between India and Pakistan to resolve the conflict between the two neighbouring countries.

But actually, the prime minister didn’t make any such offer. Although she mentioned about mediation as one of the ways to resolve such conflicts, she said that both the countries are large countries and they should sort out the issues themselves. She said that if Norway is required to have a role in resolving the differences between India and Pakistan, it has to be driven by the two countries. Erna Solberg also said that both countries are big enough to be able to reduce tension between them, without any help from outside.

Answering whether Norway sees any role for mediation between Indian and Pakistan, the PM said, “If there is an interest from the partners, we will try to use the mechanisms that we know. We have been working quite a lot in different countries but we always have this one basic thinking. The partners need to want to sit down by the table and discuss. Then of course if there is a need for a mediator, a need for a facilitator to fix, even though these are two very big countries that should manage to sort out things between themselves.” It clearly shows that although Erna Solberg mentioned about mediating in general, she did not make any such offer on behalf of Norway. She also directly didn’t say that Norway is willing to mediate if India and Pakistan want. She said that any request for mediation must come from the parties involved, but India and Pakistan are too big to need mediation.

When asked about a military solution to the conflict, the PM said that she does not think there is a military solution to any problem.

The Norwegian prime minister arrived in India today on a three-day visit. She is scheduled to meet prime Narendra Modi on 8th January, where they will hold discussions on a host of bilateral issues. She will address the India-Norway Business Summit, and will deliver the inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue.

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