Norway’s foreign ministry has confirmed that both it and Kings College London hosted representatives of Syria’s civilian society at an historic hotel outside Oslo this week, to promote dialogue about how Syrians can live together after 11 years of civil war.
The talks, reported Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK), were held at the venerable Losby Gods in Lørenskog, originally a rural estate northeast of the Norwegian capital. The ministry also hosts its annual Oslo Forum at Losby, an event that brings together peace brokers, decision makers and those involved in various conflicts around the world.
The ministry had not publicized this week’s Syrian talks, and declined to elaborate on their content, but told NRK that “we support such dialogue among Syrians to build their competence and knowledge of local peace building.” NRK reported that participants also came from Lebanon, to share their experiences after a civil war that went on for 15 years.
The conflict in Syria that has killed nearly half-a-million people and forced another 12 million to flee their homeland still isn’t over. NRK noted how Russia, the US, Turkey and Israel are still involved in the war, along with militia groups from Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Pakistan.