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Philippines calls off peace talks with Communist rebels

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  23 Nov 2017 12:00 AM GMT

MANILA, Nov 22: The Philippines government on Wednesday announced the end of the stalled peace talks with the New People’s Army, a Communist rebel outfit considered a terrorist group by the US and the European Union. The Manila agency in charge of the peace talks attributed its decision to the Communists’ lack of willingness to negotiate and their recent armed attacks on security forces, Efe news agency reported.

“There will be no peace negotiations any more with the CPP/NPA/NDF until such time as the desired ebling environment conducive to a change in the government’s position becomes evident,” said Jesus Dureza, head of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte had “taken unprecedented steps and walked the so-called extra mile to bring peace. However, the Communist party and its armed elements have not shown reciprocity”, said Dureza.

The government and representatives of the outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines, the political arm of the New People’s Army (NPA), began negotiations in April to lay the foundations for a definitive peace, although the talks remained stagnt and there were armed clashes. In the past few days, Duterte had promised not to negotiate further with the Communists and declared his intention to again categorize the NPA as a terror group.

The Maoist-inspired rebel group is already categorized as a terror organization on the US and the EU lists although the Philippines government withdrew its me from such a list in 2011 to facilitate peace talks. (IANS)

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