By Zea Capistrano
DAVAO CITY – The Royal Norwegian Government has expressed its support to the revival of the peace talks between the Philippine Government (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).
In a statement posted on the government’s website on December 23, Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ine Eriksen Søreide said the Norwegian government is hopeful that the unilateral ceasefires between the two parties will lead to the resumption of the peace talks.
“We are hopeful that the ceasefire and talks just before Christmas will help the parties to find their way back to the negotiating table. Norway stands ready to assist,” Søreide said.
The GRP and the NDFP agreed to implement unilateral ceasefire which took effect on December 23 and will last until January 7, 2020. The ceasefire hopes to provide a peaceful environment that is conducive to the resumption of the stalled peace negotiations.
“After decades of conflict between the communists and the Government of the Philippines, a peace settlement would be of vital importance for civilians in the areas affected by conflict,” Søreide added.
The armed conflict between the Philippine government and the Communist Party of the Philippines has lasted for 50 years. The New People’s Army, the armed wing of the CPP, celebrated its 50th founding anniversary on March 29 this year. Meanwhile, the CPP will observe its 51st founding anniversary today, December 26, 2019.
Søreide said Norway has been a facilitator of the peace process since 2001.