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Top U.S. Official Urges Macedonian Leaders To End Crisis

U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland called on Macedonian leaders to end an ongoing political crisis.

A long-running wiretap scandal in Macedonia implicates the government in what the opposition says is a massive abuse of power. The government denies wrongdoing.

Following a meeting with the country’s top political leaders, Nuland told reporters in Skopje on July 13 that “now is the time to bring the crisis to the end.”

Nuland met with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, as well as with opposition Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev and the heads of the two main Albanian parties: Ali Ahmeti, head of the junior ruling party, the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) and Menduh Thaci, leader of the opposition Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA).

Nuland said the United States supported the June 2 deal reached under the mediation of EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn.

The deal proposes a transitional period before snap elections are held in April 2015.

Hahn is due to visit Macedonia on July 14 in a push for political leaders to come to a final agreement.

Based on reporting by AP and Macedonian Unit of RFE/RL's Balkan Service