New York, Sep 10: A Norwegian parliamentarian has nominated US President Donald Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize citing what he claimed was Trump’s role in facilitating contacts between India and Pakistan to resolve the Kashmir dispute.
Although the primary focus of his nomination was the Israel-United Arab Emirates (UAE) deal, Christian Tybring-Gjedde asserted in his letter to the Nobel Committee that Trump played a “key role in facilitating contact between conflicting parties and a creating new dynamics in other protracted conflicts, such as the Kashmir border dispute between India and Pakistan,” Fox News reported on Tuesday.
The claim has no basis in fact because India has turned down Trump’s repeated offers to mediate or “arbitrate” the Kashmir dispute and there have been no high-level bilateral contacts between the two countries since 2015.
Rejecting Trump’s offers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told reporters in front of him in August last year, “All the issues between India and Pakistan are of bilateral in nature, and we don’t want to trouble any third country. We can discuss and resolve these issues bilaterally”.
India maintains that under the Simla Agreement signed in 1971 by then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who held the office of president of Pakistan at that time, both nations agreed to resolve all disputes bilaterally and, therefore, there should be no third party involvement.
Trump had even made a strange claim that Modi had asked him to mediate between India and Pakistan. New Delhi has denied making any such request.
Trump’s Spokesperson Kayleigh McEnnany made no mention of Kashmir when she told reporters in Washington on Wednesday that Trump was nominated for “bringing about the full normalisation of relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and marking a major step toward a more peaceful Middle East.”
“This peace deal is a testament to the bold diplomacy and vision of President Trump, and he is honoured to be considered by the Nobel Committee,” she added.
The news of the nomination of Trump for the prize during the final phase of the US presidential election that is 53 days away.
The Israel-UAE deal to set up normal relations is probably the only solid diplomatic victory for Trump, but substantially less than a breakthrough between Israel and the Palestinians that he had been touting.
Tybring-Gjedde, a member of the right-wing Progress Party, had unsuccessfully nominated Trump for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 for what he asserted were efforts to bring North and South Korea’s together.
He again cited in the latest nomination Trump’s efforts in the Koreas.
The nomination letter quoted by Fox News gave Trump credit for a key role in “the conflict between North and South Korea, as well as dealing with the nuclear capabilities of North Korea.”
However, Trump’s high profile diplomatic efforts with North Korea that included meetings with that country’s leader Kim Jong-un have ended in failure.
Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, his first year in office, for “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people” before there was any concrete achievement.
Another Democratic Party president, Jimmy Carter, received the prize in 2002 after he had left office for his advocacy of democracy and human rights and his efforts for finding solutions to international conflicts.
The Nobel Committee elected by Norway’s parliament awards the prize that comes with a medal and $1.1 million.
By Arul Louis