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Tusk urges Macedonia to form new government

Associated Press logo Associated Press 3/04/2017
European Council President Donald Tusk talks to the media in presence of Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov after their meeting at the presidential office in Skopje, Macedonia, Monday, April 3, 2017. Tusk arrived briefly to Skopje to discuss with Ivanov the latest developments regarding the migrant crisis, the political situation in Macedonia and regional issues. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski) © The Associated Press European Council President Donald Tusk talks to the media in presence of Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov after their meeting at the presidential office in Skopje, Macedonia, Monday, April 3, 2017. Tusk arrived briefly to Skopje to discuss with Ivanov the latest developments regarding the migrant crisis, the political situation in Macedonia and regional issues. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)

SKOPJE, Macedonia — European Council President Donald Tusk has urged political parties in Macedonia to form a new government and warned that the country's extended crisis is hurting efforts to deepen integration with Western alliances.

Macedonia was thrown into political paralysis after the December election produced a hung parliament. Parties representing Macedonia's ethnic Albanian minority demanded concessions to join any coalition — including making Albanian an official language beyond minority areas.

That demand triggered daily protests in Macedonia's main cities for more than a month

The long-governing conservatives have refused to discuss the demands, while opposition Social Democrats have been denied a mandate by the country's President Gjorge Ivanov.

After meeting Tusk Monday, Ivanov said his position remained unchanged.

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