Philippine government, Left to restart peace talks

Indo Asian News Service

Manila, March 12 (IANS) The Philippine government and the communist rebels have agreed to resume the peace talks to end the 48-year-old communist insurgency in the Philippines, Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Jesus Dureza announced on Sunday.

Dureza also said in a statement posted on his Facebook page that both sides have also agreed to restore their separate unilateral ceasefire before the fourth round of talks scheduled for the first week of April "as soon as their respective forces shall have been informed."

"I am pleased to announce that the peace negotiations between the Philippine government and the Communist Party of the Philippines/ New People's Army/ National Democratic Front which broke down weeks ago, are now back on track again," Xinhua quoted Dureza as saying.

"At the same time, a unilateral ceasefire that was also earlier terminated is deemed restored and reinstated but will be made effective only as soon as the respective forces of both sides are duly informed but definitely before the next round of talks in April, 2017," he added.

Both sides have also agreed to hold the fifth round of formal peace negotiations in June.

He said the agreement was reached at informal talks held on March 10 and 11 in Utrecht, The Netherlands.