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Srinagar:

The Prime Minister of Norway, Erna Solberg, assured that her country is ready to be a mediator for the Kashmir issue. On the eve of her meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, Norway’s Prime Minister said that her country is willing to mediate a dialogue between India and Pakistan on Kashmir, provided both sides wanted the same.

In her interview with NDTV, the PM of Norway said that a military solution could not solve the Kashmir issue. “I think you have to have popular support. You have to harbour trust between the partners in any region where there is conflict. What we have learnt is that you have to bring in popular support and by getting women and youth into a peace process and that’s when you build a solid peace in an area where there has been a conflict,” she said. Earlier, the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, also said that Kashmir issue should be solved as per United Nation resolutions.

Meanwhile, the former prime minister of Norway, Kjell Magne Bondevik, visited Kashmir and met the separatist leaders. He was on a private visit as per the invitation of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and he went on to meet leaders in Pakistan-administered Kashmir. Norway has a long history of conflict resolution and Bondevik had played a key role in the resolution of the conflict with Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka a few years ago. Solberg also stated that if both countries were interested in solving the issue, they could provide the necessary mechanism for conflict resolution.

She also said India and Pakistan should be talking more to each other and should decrease military expenditure because they need more money for other areas to boost development – health, education and decrease tension between countries.

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