Sunday, July 23, 2017 - 19:47:10

Philippine government, leftist insurgents to resume peace talks

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Illustrative image (Source: AFP)

Hanoi (VNA) - The Philippine government and the leftist National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) will resume peace negotiations next month, the talks mediator Norway announced on March 21.

In a statement, Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines Erik Forner said the fourth round of talks will be held in Noordwijk of the Netherlands from April 2-6.

According to the ambassador, this round of talks will focus on issues such as social and economic reforms and a bilateral ceasefire agreement.

Despite a lot of challenges ahead, the parties continue show their commitment to peace, he said, adding that Norway will continue assisting the two sides as the third party facilitator of the peace process.

In early February, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the termination of peace talks and launched an all-out attack against the insurgents following the killing of some soldiers. The New People’s Army (NPA), an armed branch of the NDFP, was accused of killing the soldiers.

However, the President’s advisor on peace process Jesus Dureza announced on March 12 that the government and the NDFP agreed to resume peace talks to end the 48-year insurgency.

Dueza said that a unilateral ceasefire will be restored ahead of the talks and takes effect when the related force is informed. The two sides also agreed to hold the fifth round of negotiations in June.

Norway has acted as the peace facilitator between the Philippine government and the NDFP since 2001.-VNA

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