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Macedonia: Premier Says War Declaration Being Considered

Skopje, 6 May (RFE/RL) -- Macedonia Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski says his country is considering whether to declare a state of war in the country's battle against ethnic Albanian fighters. Ljubco Georgievski said the issue has been discussed seriously. He was speaking on Macedonian television after meeting last night with Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski. The Macedonian prime minister said the government will first hold consultations with other political parties before taking a decision on whether to institute a state of war.

Under Macedonia's Constitution, a state of war must be approved by a two-thirds majority of parliament.

Georgievski said Macedonia is considering such a move, but not because police and army units have failed to withstand attacks by ethnic Albanian rebels. He said a state of war would give the country's armed forces "more room for maneuver."

Government security troops have been shelling rebel positions in northeast Macedonia since Thursday, but so far have failed to dislodge them from positions in several villages.