Manila: The Philippine government Monday renewed its call to a major Leftist rebel group to resume peace talks.

Alexander Padilla, Philippine government chief peace negotiator, made the call to the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front (CPP-NPA-NDF), Xinhua reported.

“Time and again, we have asked the CPP-NPA-NDF to join us in searching for fair and peaceful solutions to the issues that divide us. We have asked them to engage in talks that have a clear agenda and timetable, to talk not just for the sake of talking, but to reach specific agreements that will lessen if not eradicate the violence on the ground,” he said in a statement.

The government’s doors have always been open to peaceful dialogue, Padilla said, stressing that it has not lost hope that both parties would return to the table.

The rebel group has been waging a guerrilla campaign in the countryside for more than four decades.

The military estimates the NPA strength at more than 4,000 men scattered in more than 60 guerrilla fronts throughout the country.

Peace talks between the government and the rebels got bogged down in February, 2013.

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