Party Leaders Reach Agreement to End Political Crisis in Macedonia

Macedonian Prime Minister and leader of the VMRO-DPMNE conservative party Nikola Gruevski talks to the media in the government building, after the talks with the most relevant party leaders in Macedonia mediated by the European Neighborhood Policy & Enlar

Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski announced on Wednesday that an agreement has been reached between the leaders of the four main parties to bring to an end the political crisis, which has gripped the country in the last several months.

This comes following the constructive negotiations on Tuesday and Wednesday between the leaders of the four main parties, which were mediated by European Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Johannes Hahn.

The latest round of talks were convened by Hahn and facilitated by MEPs Ivo Vaigl, Richard Howitt and Eduard Kukan together with the EU and US ambassadors to Macedonia.

The participants in the negotiations were the leaders of the four largest parties - VMRO-DPMNE, SDSM, DUI and DPA, respectively PM Gruevski, Zoran Zaev, Ali Ahmeti and Menduh Thaci.

The agreement builds on the June 2 accord and foresees the return of the largest opposition SDSM party to parliament on September 1 and the organisation of the new government preparing the early elections, which will be held on 24 April 2016.

Among the agreed measures is also the appointment of a special prosecutor, who will be tasked with investigating the issues surrounding or arising from the wiretapped conversations.

Commissioner Hahn and the three MEPs also welcomed the strong commitment of the four political leaders to European and Euro-Atlantic integration.

According to the EU officials, this represented an important step in overcoming the current crisis and addressing the key challenges facing the country.

The EU called on political leaders to promptly implement the agreement and expressed readiness to work closely with all parties to ensure the full implementation of the commitments, including...

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