Skopje, 2 July 2001 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. special envoy to Macedonia James Pardew today began talks with President Boris Trajkovski after heavy fighting last night in which one Macedonian soldier was killed. Pardew said yesterday upon arrival in Macedonia that the country's political leaders must take responsibility for resolving the five-month-old conflict with ethnic Albanian insurgents. Pardew, a senior Balkans adviser at the U.S. State Department, also said all sides should refrain from violence.
Meanwhile, reports say northern Macedonia is now calm, following the clashes last night. A Macedonian soldier was killed in a mortar attack launched by ethnic Albanian rebels last night near Tetovo, 35 kilometers west of the capital Skopje.
Army spokesman Colonel Blagoja Markovski said security forces responded by sending attack helicopters against the guerrillas.