You Can Talk, But. . .

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LIMA, Peru: Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori will allow government negotiators to discuss the Tupac Amaru rebel demand of freedom for their jailed comrades, but the conversation will be somewhat limited. While negotiators can talk about the topic with rebel representatives, Peru's government "cannot approve such (a) liberation," Fujimori said in an interview with Japanese television. Fujimori's comments mark the first time he has relaxed his unbending opposition to releasing the rebel prisoners in exchange for the 73 hostages, including Fujimori's brother and the Peruvian foreign minister, who have been held for a month by the Marxist Tupac Amaru inside the Japanese ambassador's residence. The semi-conciliatory announcement follows on the heels of a brisk government rejection Thursday of Guatemala as a negotiator for the rebels at the talks, tentatively scheduled to begin early next week in a Lima church. Already, though, Fujimori's overture-of-sorts has shown signs of bearing fruit: after a 17-day stalemate, the rebels released another hostage early Friday afternoon, anti-terrorism police official Luis Valencia Hirano, who reportedly needed medical treatment.