Nato chief in mission to save Macedonia peace deal in danger of falling apart

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The Independent Online

Politicians in the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia were warned by their President yesterday to stop undermining the Western-backed plan meant to end the threat of civil war.

On the eve of visits by top Nato and European Union officials, President Boris Trajkovski, summoned leaders of two Macedonian and two ethnic Albanian parties that signed the August peace accord, to warn them he would pull out of the peace process unless law makers overcome a deadlock over constitutional amendments.

Presidential sources said Mr Trajkovski was "deeply dissatisfied" with weeks of stalling in parliament, where law makers have failed even to discuss constitutional amendments broadening rights for the ethnic Albanian minority, a key part of the accord that ended six months of fighting. Albanian deputies have boycotted the assembly. They accuse Mr Trajkovski of withholding his legally required review of the amendments, in particular one that would make all ethnic groups equal under the law.

Nato's secretary general, Lord Robertson of Port Ellen, and Javier Solana, the European Union's foreign policy chief, are expected to visit Macedonia today.

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