Hahn comes in Skopje on Tuesday

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Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn will visit Macedonia on July 14 in what appears to be his final attempt to facilitate an agreement between the political leaders in the country aimed at settling the political crisis, it was announced Friday by the European Commission.

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With this announcement, it is becoming clearer that the EU Commissioner will not act together with the US Assistant State Secretary Victoria Nuland, who is scheduled to visit Macedonia on Monday (July 13).

The next day, Hahn is planned to hold separate then joint meetings with the four political leaders – VMRO-DPMNE’s Nikola Gruevski, SDSM’s Zoran Zaev, DUI’s Ali Ahmeti and DPA’s Menduh Thaci in a bid to facilitate a final agreement resolving the political crisis based on the June 2 deal, which envisages early parliamentary polls to take place in April 2016.

Referring to Hahn’s crucial visit to Macedonia, his spokesperson on Thursday pointed out the ‘critical juncture’ of the negotiations between the political leaders after a press conference by SDSM leader Zaev in which he had declared them ‘a failure’.

“The discussions between political leaders are at a critical juncture. The European Union expects all of them to behave responsibly and constructively, and to work urgently and in good faith on resolving the one outstanding issue. Given the great challenges the country faces, there is no time to lose. We recall that four leaders signed an agreement on 2 June and confirmed this on 19 June. This agreement is the basis for a final compromise. They must implement the commitments which they have made. The interest of the country must come first. Compromising is an essential element in a democracy. Political energy needs to focus not on party political issues but on the reforms as outlined in the Commission’s recommendations”, spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said yesterday.

Following Nuland’s visit on Monday during which the political leaders are expected to be pressed on reaching an agreement to put an end to the political crisis, Commissioner Hahn on Tuesday will have a whole day of negotiations paving the way toward an agreement in an attempt to unblock Macedonia’s EU integration bid