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Macedonia: Representatives Sign Political Accord

Skpje, 13 August 2001 (RFE/RL) -- Macedonian and ethnic Albanian representatives signed a political accord today aimed at ending six months of conflict in the country. The agreement gives ethnic Albanians new language rights and a larger share of power in the police, parliament, education establishment, and other sectors.

But the accord makes no mention of an amnesty for ethnic Albanian guerrillas, who so far have shown little intention of disarming.

NATO says the disarmament and amnesty issues must be resolved before alliance peacekeepers can be sent in to collect weapons.

Despite the challenges remaining, NATO Secretary-General Lord George Robertson today called the political accord a "remarkable moment for the history of Macedonia."

Robertson as well as EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana and EU mediator Francois Leotard witnessed the signing, which took place at Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski's residence.

For more on the situation in Macedonia, please see Macedonia: Political Accord Clears Way For NATO Disarmament Deal.