MANILA, March 21 (Xinhua) -- Despite previous setbacks, the Philippine government and the leftist National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) will resume peace negotiations next month, third party facilitator Norway announced Tuesday.
In a statement, Erik Forner, the Norwegian Ambassador to the Philippines, said the fourth round of talks will be held in Noordwijk in the Netherlands on April 2-6.
"This round will focus on issues such as social and economic reforms and a bilateral ceasefire agreement," he said.
Despite the challenges along the way, he said the parties continue to show their commitment to peace.
In early February, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the termination of the peace talks and declared an all-out war against the rebels following the brutal killings of some soldiers allegedly perpetrated by the New People's Army, the armed component of the leftist group.
But through back channeling talks, the government and the NDFP peace panels agreed to go back to the negotiating table.
"Norway will continue to assist the parties as the third party facilitator of the peace process," Forner said.
Since 2001, Norway has been facilitating the talks between the Philippine government and the NDFP, the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines.
The leftist rebels have been waging war against the government for 48 years.