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Norwegian Government Promises to Continue as Facilitator and Supporter of GRP-NDFP Peace Negotiations

3 December 2001

Newly elected prime minister Kyell Magne Bondevik has promised that the Royal Government of Norway will continue to act as facilitator and supporter of the peace negotiations of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines (GRP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

He made the promise when he met speaker Jose de Venecia of the Philippine House of Representatives and Prof. Jose Maria Sison, founding chairman of the Communist Party of the Philippines, last Saturday, 1 December 2001 at the Government House in Oslo, Norway.

Speaker de Venecia was accompanied by secretary Eduardo Ermita and undersecretary Silvestre Afable of the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process and GRP negotiating panel chairman Silvestre Bello III.

Prof. Sison was accompanied by NDFP negotiating panel chairperson Luis G. Jalandoni and panel member Fidel V. Agcaoili. Also present as legal consultant was Atty Marie F. Yuvienco of the Public Interest Law Center.

Acting as the special emissary of Philippine president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, speaker de Venecia delivered to prime minister Bondevik her letter requesting the Norwegian government to continue facilitating and supporting the peace negotiations.

The prime minister responded positively to the request of Mrs. Macapagal-Arroyo and asked Prof. Sison what were the prospects of the peace negotiations.

Prof. Sison first expressed the appreciation of the NDFP to the Norwegian government for its role as facilitator and then assured him that the prospects of the peace negotiations were bright because of the resolve of the negotiating parties to accelerate their negotiations.

GRP negotiating panel chairman Silvestre Bello III and NDFP negotiating panel chairperson Luis Jalandoni informed the Norwegian prime minister that they had drafted on Friday, 30 November in the Netherlands a document of understanding to accelerate the peace negotiations, subject to the approval of their respective panels and principals. #


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