Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Norway makes another stab at peace in the Philippines

Norway makes another stab at peace in the Philippines

Members of the government of the Philippines and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) have been holding more peace talks in Norway this week.

Vegar Brynildsen (left) met with special representatives from the NDFP and the Philippines government, Luis Jalandoni and Nieves Confesor, in Norway this week, along with Norwegian envoy Hans Brattskar.

PHOTO: MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS


It's not the first time the two sides have been brought together by Norwegian mediators. The latest round of talks took place from Tuesday to Thursday this week, confirms Norway's foreign ministry.

Raymond Johansen, state secretary in the ministry, characterized the talks as "informal," and not official negotiations. Norwegian officials acted as hosts and facilitators for the talks, at the request of the two sides.

Johansen said he thinks it's important for Norway to create such "meeting places" for parties to a conflict. The one between the government of the Philippines and the NDFP has gone on for around 40 years.

NDFP is a left-wing coalition of political parties, agricultural and labour organizations and includes the Philippines' communist party, which also has its own army.

Johansen said he couldn't speculate as to when formal peace negotiations could begin. The two sides asked Norway to arrange new meetings later this year.

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