Norway PM rules out mediation on Kashmir, says nobody from outside can create peace

File photo of Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. Photograph:( Getty )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Jan 07, 2019, 08.41 PM (IST) Siddhant Sibal

Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg who is on a 3 day India has ruled out any mediation between India and Pakistan on Kashmir. Speaking to reporters at the Norweign embassy, PM said, "nobody from outside can create peace or make changes. It has to come from inside. So if there is a movement in India and Pakistan for greater talks together, of course, other countries can help, if there is a possibility. It has to be partner driven. It has to be those who are part of the conflict." 

She said India and Pakistan are "big enough country that they can decrease tension between them without help from outside. "

Remember Norway has played a role as a mediator in Colombia and Sri Lanka. 

Stating her govt's policy on mediation she said, "our govt policy is clear if we going to help someone, they have to ask for it."

She dismissed any military solution to any conflict saying she "personally don't believe that military solution solves the problem" but in "peaceful solutions", putting the onus on "Pakistan and India together who find the time when they going to start talks about things".

Asked about the former prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik visit to Kashmir in November of last year, she said, "he went as a private citizen" and "no (Norway) govt plan to start any negotiation. "

Bondevik visited Jammu & Kashmir on November 23, 2018, and met representatives of Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Jammu & Kashmir Youth Development Forum and All Party Hurriyat Conference. He later visited Pakistan occupied Kashmir. 

India has always maintained that there is no scope for a third-party role on Kashmir. In a written reply to Parliament, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said,  "there is no change in government’s consistent and principled position that under the Simla Agreement (1972) and as reiterated in the Lahore Declaration (1999), both India and Pakistan are committed to addressing all outstanding issues bilaterally."

Norway's Ambassador Nils Ragnar Kamsvag elaborating his PM comments on Twitter said, "PM @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."

Solberg is the first foreign leader and head of government to visit New Delhi in 2019. Tuesday is the main day of engagement for the Prime Minister and she will call on President Kovind, Vice President Naidu and hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. She will leave on Wednesday.

Story highlights

Stating her govt's policy on mediation she said, "our govt policy is clear if we going to help someone, they have to ask for it."