From the Website of INQUIRER
Norway to help Philippines in talks with rebels
MANILA, Philippines — Norwegian Foreign Minister Borge Brende says his country will continue brokering peace talks between the Philippine government and communist insurgents despite the rebels’ withdrawal from negotiations.
Brende also announced Thursday $8 million more in aid for areas devastated Supertyphoon Yolanda in November that killed more than 6,100 people.
Talks between the rebels and the government of President Benigno Aquino III have stalled since 2011 due to disagreements over the release of several jailed rebel leaders. Norway started facilitating the negotiations in 2004.
The outlawed Communist Party of the Philippines marked its 45th founding anniversary in December and vowed to intensify attacks against government forces and increase the number of its guerrilla fighters to 25,000. The military estimates current guerrilla strength at about 4,000.
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