Norwegian envoy optimistic on PH-NDF peace talks resumption

DAVAO CITY – Outgoing Norwegian Ambassador Erik Førner said he remained optimistic that the formal talks between the Philippine government and communist rebels would resume very soon.

However, Førner said in a statement that while he was optimistic about the resumption of the formal talks, it really depends on the two parties when could they start the talks.

“Although there has been a postponement of the planned formal round in Oslo this month (June 2018), I am optimistic that it will be back on track very soon, but this is of course up to the parties to decide,” Førner said.

Førner, who served four years in the country, had led the efforts of the Royal Norwegian Government, not just in the peace process between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF) but also in the peace process with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Oslo serves as the third party facilitator in the case of the government-NDF talks and maintains a crucial role in the International Monitoring Team and the Independent Decommissioning Body (IDB) in the Bangsamoro.

“Facilitating the peace processes in the Philippines is both a challenging yet a rewarding task,” Førner said. Karlos Manlupig/lb

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