NDF negotiators meet Norwegian envoy in bid to break impasse
05-Sep-11, 2011 | Agence France-Presse
MANILA, Philippines – Communist rebel negotiators met a special Norwegian envoy on Monday in a fresh bid to reopen stalled peace talks to end a four-decade war with the government, aides said.
The chief negotiator of the National Democratic Front, Luis Jalandoni, met the envoy at the embassy in Manila but details of the talks were not disclosed, the rebels’ secretariat said.
Government negotiator Alexander Padilla told AFP he would meet the Norwegian envoy on Tuesday but he did not know if the rebel negotiators would be at the talks as well.
Norway, which has been brokering the on-and-off talks, sent the envoy, Ture Lundh, to Manila after negotiations stalled over the demand of the NDF that the government free 13 captured comrades it said are consultants of its peace negotiating panel.
The two sides hope to seal a peace accord by June 2012 but the new impasse has soured ties, with the government accusing the NDF of bad faith for kidnapping a town mayor and four jail guards recently.
Meanwhile, recent US embassy cables leaked by the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks revealed splits within the insurgent leadership, with self-exiled rebel founder Jose Maria Sison losing influence. Continue reading