Philip­pines de­lays rebel talks but says ‘break­throughs’ near

PHILIP­PINES

Malta Independent - - WORLD -

A Philippine of­fi­cial says the gov­ern­ment is de­lay­ing the pro­posed re­sump­tion of peace talks with com­mu­nist guer­ril­las this month to al­low pub­lic con­sul­ta­tions. The gov­ern­ment added it’s “now at the cusp of some ma­jor break­throughs.” Pres­i­den­tial ad­viser Je­sus Dureza told re­porters Thursday that Pres­i­dent Ro­drigo Duterte or­dered gov­ern­ment ne­go­tia­tors to con­sult pub­lic and gov­ern­ment groups about is­sues in the Nor­we­gian-bro­kered ne­go­ti­a­tion, de­lay­ing its planned re­sump­tion. Duterte sep­a­rately said the talks may re­sume next month. Rebel leader Jose Maria Si­son has said “back chan­nel” talks led both sides to agree to a pre­lim­i­nary “stand­down” ac­cord on June 21, with the peace talks to re­sume on June 28 to June 30 in the Nor­we­gian cap­i­tal of Oslo. Duterte ter­mi­nated the talks last year to protest rebel at­tacks on state forces.

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