Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende (front) and Filipino Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario following their meeting at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila yesterday.
MANILA: Visiting Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende expressed hope yesterday that the Philippine government and leftist rebel group Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) will resume stalled peace talks in the coming months.
Norway is the mediator in peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the leftist rebels.
“We’re committed to continue as facilitator in (peace talks) as long as this is the interest of the government of the Philippines,” Brende told reporters in an interview.
He said he will be discussing “opportunities” to resume the stalled negotiations during his meeting with Philippine President Benigno S Aquino III in the afternoon. “I think the presidency of Aquino is here for several years and we are looking into the opportunity to resume talks in the future,” said the Norwegian Foreign Minister.
Talks between the Philippine government and the CPP’s negotiating arm, the National Democratic Front of the Philippines, has been suspended since 2011 over the leftist rebels’ demand for the release of some of their detained commanders.
The outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines marked its 45th founding anniversary in December and vowed to intensify their attacks against government forces and increase the number of its guerrilla fighters to 25,000.
The Philippine Star