Norway Continues Efforts To Resolve Philippines Deadlock

Representatives of the exiled Philippines communist umbrella organisation, the National Democratic Front (NDF) on arrived in Oslo Tuesday the 4th of July for four days of talks with Norwegian foreign ministry officials, the Norwegian government said.
“Consultations with the NDF are part of the ordinary contacts that Norway has with the parties. We had the same kind of talks with representatives from the (Filipino) government at the beginning of June,” Director General of the Section of Peace and Reconciliation at the Norwegian foreign ministry, Tore Hattrem told AFP.
Norway has acted as peace broker between the Filipino government and the NDF, comprising the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its 7,400-member New People’s Army (NPA), since February 2004.
“There are no prospects for a quick restart of the peace talks on the Philippines, but we are working with the aim that the talks can be resumed in a longer perspective,” Hattrem added.
The Arroyo government shelved peace talks with the communists in 2004 after the rebels were blacklisted by Manila’s main ally the United States as “foreign terrorist organisations”.
The CPP and the NPA are also on the European Union’s (EU) list of terrorist groups, while the Netherlands-based NDF is not.
The Arroyo government last month ordered the retraining and redeployment of troops to crush the insurgency in key regions around Manila within two years.
The conflict between the communists and the government has been ongoing for 37 years.

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