Both sides agree to continue Philippines peace talks

By on June 15, 2016


Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria "Joma" Sison and President-elect Rodrigo Duterte. (Facebook photos)
Communist Party of the Philippines founder Jose Maria “Joma” Sison and President-elect Rodrigo Duterte. (Facebook photos)

OSLO—The Philippines peace talks appear to be back on track after two days of informal talks in Norway between communist rebels and the incoming government of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.

Negotiators signed an agreement Wednesday to formally resume talks next month after Duterte assumes office.

The rebels have been fighting for a Marxist state since 1969 in one of Asia’s longest-running insurgencies.

President-elect Duterte takes office June 30, so the delegation in Oslo has no authority to commit to anything officially. However, the mere presence of the Philippines delegation signifies a change in Manila’s approach.

Both sides are aware that much remains to be discussed and that agreeing to talks will perhaps be the easiest part of this new dialogue. The talks involve implementing a cease-fire and amnesty on both sides.