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Philippine gov't doubts leftist rebels' sincerity in resuming peace talks

MANILA, May 7 (Xinhua) -- The Philippine government on Wednesday questioned the sincerity of leftist rebels in resuming peace negotiations which have been stalled since 2011.

Philippine government chief peace negotiator Alexander Padilla said the Communist Party of the Philippines and its negotiating arm, the National Democratic Front (NDF), should have relayed its intention of going back to the negotiating table to Norway and not through the media.

Norway is the third party facilitator for the peace talks between the Philippine government and the leftist rebels since 2004.

"If (the leftist rebels) want to talk (peace), they shouldn't do it through the media. Their statement was given to the media. There is a difference. So, to us, it is mere propaganda," said Padilla in a forum.

He said the Philippine government remains open to reviving peace negotiations with leftist rebels.

Padilla also said the Philippine government would welcome initiatives from different groups to help jumpstart the stalled peace talks.

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