Negotiators speak to hijacker Ronaldo Mendoza during the 2010 Manila bus tragedy. Pic: AP.

HONG KONG (AP) — Hong Kong and the Philippines have reached a compromise over Hong Kong’s demand for an apology for the deaths of eight tourists in a bungled rescue attempt during a 2010 hostage-taking in Manila that soured relations.

In a statement Wednesday, Hong Kong authorities said that “the Philippine government expresses its most sorrowful regret and profound sympathy, and extends its most sincere condolences for the pain and suffering of the victims and their families.”

Missing was the word “apology,” which had been a longstanding demand of the families of the victims.

The Philippine government has previously said it would not apologize.

Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada arrived in Hong Kong on Tuesday to discuss the issue.

The tourists were taken hostage on a Manila tour bus by a disgruntled former police officer.

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