Posted: Mar 7, 2013 1:20 AM
Updated: Mar 7, 2013 1:20 AM
MANILA, Philippines (AP) The Philippine government says talks are under way for the release of 21 Filipino U.N. peacekeepers who were detained by Syrian rebels in the Golan Heights.
Foreign Affairs Department spokesman Raul Hernandez said Thursday that the peacekeepers were unharmed and were being treated as "visitors and guests."
Hernandez told reporters in Manila that the U.N. force commander in the area was negotiating with the leader of the rebel group.
President Benigno Aquino III said earlier that he was told to expect the peacekeepers to be released within 24 hours, with negotiations progressing.
Hernandez said the rebel group's demands concerned the positioning of Syrian government forces in the area.
He says there is no deadline for the negotiations.
The U.N. force is in charge of a cease-fire between Israel and Syria.