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While EU Council head urges politicians not to aggravate ethnic tensions, Skopje blames Tirana for trying to undermine the constitutional order.7 April 2017
Macedonia must focus on its aspiration to join the EU to defuse ethnic tensions, European Council President Donald Tusk has told head of state Gjorge Ivanov.
The country has been without a government for three months as conservatives hold out against a power-sharing agreement with parties representing the large Albanian minority, EurActiv writes.
“I came here with the strong message from the EU leaders that commitment to European perspectives is unequivocal. I therefore hope that you will continue to follow this compass and avoid anything that could further fuel tensions also along ethnic lines,” Tusk said on 3 April.
The Social Democratic Party won the December elections – brought forward in an EU-brokered initiative to heal a long conservative-left-wing feud – and seemed on the verge of forming a government after forging an agreement that would raise Albanian to the status of co-official language nationwide, satisfying the major demand of the Albanian parties.
Ivanov has also accused Albania of interfering in Macedonia’s domestic affairs. Emulating his stance, the Foreign Ministry summoned the Albanian ambassador on 4 April to protest the neighboring country’s alleged "open interference in Macedonia's internal affairs" and attempts to "change the constitutional order in Macedonia."
Tusk’s latest initiative made no visible impact on resolving the crisis, RFE says.
"My position remains unchanged," Ivanov said after Tusk's visit.
Now the Democratic Union for Integration, the main ethnic Albanian party, is considering whether to pull its ministers from the current provisional government, Balkan Insight reported Wednesday.
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