The decision of the Stavanger district court in Norway to give custody of two children of an Indian couple to their uncle was made on the basis of what was in the best interest of the children, the State Secretary in the Norwegian Environment Ministry said here on Tuesday.

“The decision of the court and child welfare services in Norway has been taken based on what is in the children's best interest. So, we are very happy,” Ms. Sorensen said.

Talking to reporters after the inauguration of the Centre for Biodiversity Policy and Law here, she said, “We have had a close dialogue with the Government of India in this process. And I really appreciate the active and constructive engagement of the Government of India. That has been crucial.”

Asked if she thought the episode would affect Oslo's relations with New Delhi, Ms. Sorensen said: “I don't think so… at least, we don't hope that this will have an effect on our relationship. We are hence very happy with the outcome of this case.”

A Norwegian court has handed over the two NRI children — Abhigyan and Aishwarya — in foster care, to their paternal uncle, ending a custody row that lasted months, and saw India stepping up diplomatic pressure on Norway to return the children, who had been taken away from their parents — Anurup and Sagarika Bhattacharya — by Norway's Child Welfare Agency in May last year.

The children arrived in Delhi on Tuesday and were received by their grandparents and Minister of State for External Affairs, Preneet Kaur.

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