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Macedonian Opposition Leader Pulls Out Of Crisis Talks In Brussels

Macedonian opposition leader Zoran Zaev. (file photo)

Macedonian opposition leader Zoran Zaev says he is pulling out of the June 10 negotiations mediated by the EU that aim to end a long-standing political crisis in his country.

Zaev, the head of the Social-Democratic Union of Macedonia, cited on June 5 comments made by EU enlargement commissioner and chief mediator Johannes Hahn that he said contained "biased elements."

Hahn had brokered a deal between Zaev and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski for early elections to be held next year.

Hahn had hoped to seal the agreement next week in Brussels.

Gruevski’s conservative government has been under pressure since January over a raft of damaging wiretap disclosures released by the opposition, which is seeking his resignation.

Both sides have held major street protests.

Zaev was in Bulgaria on June 5 for a meeting with members of the Bulgarian Socialist Party and other officials.

Based on reporting by Reuters and Macedonian media