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SRINAGAR: Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg believes that India and Pakistan should further bilateral relations by talking to each other more. The Norwegian premier, on the maiden trip to India, revealed in an interview with Times of India that she hopes the neighbouring countries consider dialogue. She added that India and Pakistan should decrease military expenditure and invest more in education and health.

“I think all countries should talk more, also India and Pakistan. I think India and Pakistan should decrease military expenditure, investing more in education and health. Other countries should also do it. But I also know that history is difficult between countries and that different power bases might have a way of wanting to nurture differences between countries in internal politics. So, it is difficult but I think we all should talk more.”

The premier also underscored the importance of stabilising Afghanistan and how neighbouring countries should hold talks to achieve the purpose. “We all know that we need to stabilise Afghanistan, and neighbouring countries should talk more so that they put it in their national interest approach. Of course, everybody who follows Afghanistan policies knows that there are different neighbouring countries who have different interests in Afghanistan,” she said.

Erna, whose predecessor former Norway PM Kjell Magne Bondevik, recently visited Kashmir on a private trip, further expressed hope for mediation on Kashmir issue. “I hope for mediation everywhere but I think it is up to all the partners to discuss and see if there is any possibility. We don’t come up with any fixed ideas about these things. It is something that all partners have to address,” she added.  

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