Erna Solberg said controversial visit of former PM of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik to Kashmir was in his 'private' capacity.
New Delhi: Norway on Monday said that India and Pakistan could resolve the issue of Kashmir between themselves, and “without help from outside.”
“Both India and Pakistan are big enough countries...They can decrease tension between them without help from outside,” Norway’s Prime Minister Erna Solberg remarked while referring to Kashmir in New Delhi on Monday.
She said that the controversial visit of former Prime Minister of Norway Kjell Magne Bondevik to Kashmir was in his “private” capacity. “When it comes to his visit, he went as a private citizen. He has an institute for peace and security. It is a private institute in Norway. He was invited. Our government's policy is clear -- if we are going to help someone, they have to ask for it,” she said.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj had denied Indian government’s role in organising the visit and meetings of Bondevik to Jammu and Kashmir in November last year. Bondevik had paid a 'surprise' visit to the state and met top separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq.
The Norwegian prime minister is currently on a three-day visit to India from January 7 to 9. She is slated to deliver the inaugural address at the Raisina Dialogue.