And Mogerini the same message: To respect the agreement of June 2

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European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini has urged Macedonian leaders to respect the June 2nd agreement for overcoming the political crisis, MIA reports from Brussels. Mogherini met on Thursday with the Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Fatmir Besimi, and reiterated the message given by Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn at their yesterday’s meeting.

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Besimi said that the meeting with Mogherini focused on the political crisis in Macedonia, as well as its implications on the European integration process. “The messages are similar to the ones from yesterday’s meetings with Commissioner Hahn – requirement for continuation of the political dialogue and the observance of the June 2nd agreement, as well as putting national before party interests towards realization of reforms aimed at the country’s EU accession”, said Besimi. The agreement, brokered by Hahn between the leaders of the four largest Macedonian parties, provided for normalization of political relations, return of the opposition to Parliament, a robust reform agenda and for early elections by no later than April 2016. The agreement floundered after the opposition SDSM party accused Hahn of bias, and introduced an additional demand, for a resignation of the Government.

According to Besimi, the European Council will discuss the political situation in Macedonia over the course of next week, while Brussels is following developments in the country with great concern. “The EU expects our political leaders to show political maturity and readiness to find solutions to implement the agreement”, Besimi said.

Following his meeting with Hahn on Wednesday, he said that there is a list of reform proposals that Macedonia is going to examine immediately, in the area of rule of law, reform of the security services where members are implicated in a wiretapping affair, election reforms and actions in the area of freedom of expression. These areas, and progress in them, will be evaluated by the European Council as early as next week.

In a statement following the meeting, European External Action Service (EEAS) Spokesperson Maja Kocijancic said Besimi updated Mogherini on the current developments in the country, including on the on-going political crisis and the efforts of the leaders of the main political parties to seek an agreement that would lead to the solution of the crisis and help re-instate trust in the State and its institutions.

“The High Representative expressed a clear expectation of the European Union that the interest of the country and its citizens is put above party interests in these difficult times. No effort should be spared to find a lasting political compromise, building on the agreement facilitated on 2 June 2015 in Skopje. She also stressed the need for the country to continue with the implementation of reforms which are crucial for the European perspective of the country”, said Kocijancic