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    Need peaceful not military solution for Kashmir: Norway PM

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    New Delhi, Jan 7: Batting for peace, Norway Prime Minister Erna Solberg on Monday said that the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan could not be solved only from a military standpoint.

    "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 issue.

    Photo credit: PTI

    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.

    Bondevik had paid a 'surprise' visit to the state and met top separatist leaders including Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umer Farooq.

    Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg is currently on a 3-day visit here.

    Addressing the India-Norway business summit, Solberg said Norway sees great scope for partnerships with India in business, trade, and investments and the country's new strategy for engagement with India reflects its significance.

    "The aim of the new strategy is to strengthen Norway's bilateral relations and economic ties with India. Private sector engagement, research and technical cooperation are key components of the strategy," she said.

    India and Norway will sign an agreement Tuesday to facilitate dialogue to boost bilateral trade, which currently stands at USD 1.2 billion.

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