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Joint statement on Manila hostage-taking incident (with photo)

     Following is a joint statement issued today (November 19) by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Government and the Philippine Government on the Manila hostage-taking incident:

     The Chief Executive of the HKSAR Government, Mr C Y Leung, met with Philippine President Benigno S Aquino III at the margins of the APEC Economic Leaders' Summit in Bali, Indonesia, on October 7, 2013.  During that meeting, both leaders agreed to work towards a mutually satisfactory conclusion to the Manila hostage-taking incident.  The two leaders designated Director of the Chief Executive's Office Mr Edward Yau and Cabinet Secretary Mr Jose Rene Almendras as their representatives respectively to address the four demands of the victims and their families.  Interactions between the two sides commenced immediately thereafter.

     Following his October 21, 2013, visit, Secretary Almendras returned to Hong Kong today, November 19, 2013, for further discussions with Mr Yau and the Secretary for Security, Mr Lai Tung-kwok.  In the meetings, there were in-depth and constructive exchanges, and Secretary Almendras updated the HKSAR Government on progress made in finding a satisfactory response to the four demands.

     President Aquino, having heard of the urgent need of Ms Yik Siu-ling for surgeries, instructed Secretary Almendras to turn over to the HKSAR Government an additional token of solidarity to defray the cost of imminent surgeries.  This was made available through donations from Filipino businessmen as a manifestation of the Filipinos' humane consideration of the plight of the victims and their families, without prejudice to the ongoing ministerial level discussions to address the four demands.

     Both sides are confident that through continuous efforts, the discussions will achieve the objective set out by the Chief Executive, Mr C Y Leung, and President Aquino.  Both sides reaffirmed their agreement to report the outcome to their people when substantive progress has been achieved.

Ends/Tuesday, November 19, 2013
Issued at HKT 16:00


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