Norway breaks impasse in communist, Philippines peace talks
Sep 8, 2011, 4:54 GMT
Manila - Norway's peace facilitator broke the impasse in the peace negotiations between the Philippines and communist rebels, who agreed to resume talks next month in Oslo, the government chief negotiator said Thursday.
Norway special envoy Ambassador Ture Lundh on Tuesday met guerrilla and government negotiators in Manila in a bid to revive the faltering peace talks.
Norway has been brokering peace negotiations between the government and the communist rebels since the late 1980s.
Government chief negotiator Alexander Padilla said that during Tuesday's meeting he reached an agreement with his communist counterpart Luis Jalandoni and agreed to resume formal negotiations in October without any preconditions.
'The atmosphere during the meeting was very cordial,' Padilla said. 'It proved to be a very fruitful meeting of minds.'
Padilla said both sides have agreed to take positive steps 'towards the creation of a conducive atmosphere for the formal talks.'
Peace talks between the new government of President Benigno Aquino III and the Netherlands-based communist leaders started in February but hit a deadlock after the guerrillas demanded that the government release from prison some of their jailed comrades.
The military, on the other hand, accused the rebels of insincerity due to unabated attacks conducted by the guerrillas on government and civilian targets.
Communist rebels have been fighting the government since the late 1960s, making the movement one of the longest-running leftist insurgencies in Asia.