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Norway says not mediating for Iceland

OSLO, Jan 25 (Reuters) - Norway said on Monday it was not a mediator for Iceland in talks with Britain and the Netherlands on more than $5 billion Reykjavik owes to the European Union states after the collapse of the island state’s banking system.

Icelandic media reports on Sunday said Reykjavik has approached several governments about the possibility of mediating and Oslo is a traditionally ally. [ID:nLDE60N0HP]

“Norway does not have any mediator role as of today related to Iceland,” a Norwegian foreign ministry spokeswoman said.

She declined to say if such a role was possible, saying only that Norway has “close contacts” with the Icelandic government.

Oslo mediated between London and Reykjavik in the 1970s “cod wars” over fishing rights in the North Atlantic.

Iceland owes the British and Dutch governments the money for losses related to the collapse of Icesave online bank accounts in late 2008, but repayment terms have yet to be settled.

Earlier this month Iceland’s president refused to sign a law setting out the terms, forcing a referendum on the issue and holding up the flow of international aid which is vital for recovery in Iceland’s stricken economy.

The referendum is due to be held on March 6. (Reporting by Wojciech Moskwa; Editing by Louise Ireland)