NORWAY and the European Union lauded Wednesday the decision of the Philippine government and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) to return to negotiating table to end the world’s longest communist insurgency in the world.
Norway facilitated the confidential dialogue between the new GRP panel headed by Special Envoy Antonio Manuel R. Lagdameo Jr. and Netherlands-based NDFP panel headed by Luis Jalandoni.
The signing ceremony occurred at Oslo City Hall on November 23, but was only announced last Tuesday.
“I was honored to be present at the signing ceremony and to witness the commitment of both Parties to bring more than 50 years of conflict to an end,” Eide said.
In his remarks at the signing ceremony, the Norwegian foreign minister stressed the importance of dialogue and and diplomacy in a turbulent world.
“Extensive work remains and we look forward to continuing to support the Parties in the process towards a final peace agreement,” Eide added.
Aside from Eide, the signing was witnessed by Special Representative Kristina Lie Revheim.
Since 2001, Norway has been facilitating the peace talks between GRP and NDFP. The last round of formal talks was in 2017.
In a post at “X,” formerly Twitter, the Norwegian foreign minister congratulated Manila and NDFP for taking the first step to resume peace talks.
“This gives hope for the people of the Philippines,” Norwegian Foreign Minister Espen Bart Eide tweeted, adding that formal negotiations are “important step for lasting people.”
Norwegian Ambassador Christian Halaas Lyster also sent his own congratulatory remarks.
“Norway remains a committed partner to the parties in search for a solution to this longstanding conflict. With the increased level of conflict we see in the world today, we hope that countries now can look to the Philippines for some hope,” Lyster tweeted.
European Ambassador to Manila Luc Veron considered as “exciting news” the decision of both parties to revive peace talks after six years of hiatus since the administration of President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
“A promising step towards a peaceful resolution! The EU stands firmly behind this process, supporting peace and dialogue,” Veron said.
Around 40,000 people died during the past 55 years of communist rebellion, considered the world’s longest in the world.
Image credits: Mathias Rongved | Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs