15 Feb '11, 4am

Philippine government, communist rebels set to meet near Oslo for first peace talks in six years - AFP

Philippine government, communist rebels set to meet near Oslo for first peace talks in six years - AFP

OSLO: The Philippine government and communist rebels meet near Oslo on Tuesday for their first peace talks in six years, but amid continuing fighting, observers have played down expectations. The two sides finally agreed last month to talks, the first since 2004, in a bid to end the decades-old rebellion which has claimed thousands of lives. President Benigno Aquino's administration expressed hopes that the festering conflict would be over by 2014, but the fact that fighting has persisted is a bad sign for the already slow-moving peace process. Norway's government on Monday described the new closed-door talks as "a breakthrough" in efforts to end a conflict that has continued for more than 40 years. But just hours ahead of the talks, the Philippine army announced the capture of a senior guerilla leader, Alan Jasminez, a central committee member of the Communist Party of th...

Full article: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/afp_asiapacific/vi...

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