By Genalyn Kabiling
Norway could still broker the peace negotiations between the government and the communist rebels, according to a Palace official.
Presidential Spokesman Harry Roque made the clarification a day after claiming a third party facilitator might no longer be needed if the talks are held in the country.
“Norway can still have a role in the ongoing peace talks with the CPP-NPA (Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army),” Roque said during a press conference in Cotabato City.
“All third parties who have been involved in the peace talks in the past and who would want to continue to be involved, may do so,” he added.
Roque explained that he merely stressed the President’s preference to hold the peace talks in the country instead of abroad.
“Ang in-emphasize ko lang po, iyong pagnanais ng ating Presidente na sa Pilipinas gawin po ang usapin but a third party facilitator does not have to be abroad to facilitate the peace talks,” he said.
Last Monday, Roque said the President prefers the peace talks between the government and the rebels to be held in the country to save costs. He added that the peace talks involved Filipinos so it must be held in the Philippines.
Asked if there will still be a third-party facilitator in the peace talks, Roque said: “Wala na po siguro, nandito na naman tayo sa Pilipinas. We have a panel and they have the authority to fix the logistics.”
Roque, however, said the government would still welcome any interested party to facilitate the peace talks between the two sides.