Friday, May 26, 2017 - 20:07:03

Philippines: NDFP willing to discuss ceasefire with government

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NDFP Negotiating Panel Chairperson Fidel Agcaoili (Photo: ndfp.org)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – The leftist National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) said on March 31 that it willing to discuss a formal ceasefire proposed by the government in upcoming talks scheduled to take place in Noordwijk of the Netherlands from April 2-6.

This is the fourth round of negotiations between the Philippine Government and the NDFP, which have been on and off for 30 years but were restarted by President Rodrigo Duterte after he took office last June.

The government has billed a permanent ceasefire as its primary goal, though a week of negotiations on the outskirts of Rome in January ended without such a deal.

Chief rebel negotiator Fidel Agcaoili said in a statement issued from his exile in the Netherlands on March 31 that “it is possible at the soonest time to have a
bilateral ceasefire agreement”.

However, chief government negotiator Silvestre Bello said the same day that he expected the talks to be "very difficult and exacting", with no guarantees for a breakthrough.

Bello said the Philippine Government wanted as the first item on the April 2-6 agenda a negotiated ceasefire leading to the "lowering or ending of hostilities".-VNA


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