MANILA, Philippines (Xinhua) – The Philippine government said today that it has sought the assistance of Norway to determine how peace negotiations with leftist rebel group Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) can move forward.
This remarks came after CPP founding chairman and National Democratic Front (NDF) panel consultant Jose Maria Sison made the pronouncement that he is open to resuming stymied peace negotiations and meeting with Philippine President Benigno Aquino III on “neutral ground.”
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Deles said the Philippines is coordinating with the Norwegian government to determine the veracity of reports quoting Sison and to discuss ways to move the peace talks forward.
Norway facilitates the peace talks between the Philippine government and NDF, the CPP’s negotiating arm.
“We want to ensure that when talks resume, it will be based on a platform that has the possibility of reaching a successful conclusion. The offer to talk to (Aquino) is a new element at this time. The last we heard they were calling on all Filipinos to oust (him),” said Deles.
The Philippine government had earlier said that it remains open to resuming peace talks with the leftist rebels.
Talks between the Philippine government and the NDF has been suspended since 2011 over the leftist rebels’ demand for the release of some of their detained commanders.
The CPP, the umbrella organization of the New People’s Army and the NDF, has been waging war against the Philippine government for more than four decades.