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Philippines president Duterte says he 'will not talk to terrorists'
May 31, 2017 / 8:45 AM / 7 months ago

Philippines president Duterte says he 'will not talk to terrorists'

MANILA (Reuters) - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte said on Wednesday he would not talk to Muslim rebels who are fighting the military and occupying parts of a southern city, and that he was determined to keep the Islamic State group out of the country.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte comforts a woman as he visits the wake of soldiers killed in Marawi city during fighting with Muslims Maute group militants, in Iligan City, Philippines May 26, 2017. Malacanang Presidential Palace/Handout via Reuters

Duterte’s latest remarks on the crisis in Marawi City is a change in stance from last week, when he urged Maute militants to talk with him. “I will not talk to the terrorists,” he said in a speech to the military in Davao City on Wednesday.

Outraged by what he believes is insincerity towards a peace process he has started with communist rebels fighting a separate, long-running conflict, Duterte said its exiled leadership would be arrested if they came back to the Philippines.

He has previously invited them to return home and even offered them government posts.

Reporting by Martin Petty and Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Paul Tait

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