WORLD

Macedonia's new government renews EU talks

MACEDONIAS NEW GOVERNMENT RENEWS EU TALKS

Macedonia's new government renewed talks with the EU's Stabilization and Association Council on Tuesday.

The former Yugoslav republic's deputy prime minister and foreign minister were in Brussels for the meeting which saw the EU welcome Skopje's intention to "address outstanding reform issues in an inclusive, transparent and coherent manner".

The fallout from a wiretapping scandal, plus scenes of violence against opposition lawmakers in the country's parliament in April this year, also came under scrutiny.

Macedonia -- which became an EU candidate country in 2005 -- had been without a government since 2015, following a scandal where the state was accused of tapping the phones of 20,000 citizens.

Lawmakers eventually endorsed a new government in early June, more than five months after elections were held.

New Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has vowed to improve the economy and ensure the country's inclusion in NATO and the EU.

Tuesday's meeting concluded that the EU-Macedonia Stabilization and Association Agreement remains at the core of relations between the bloc and Skopje, until the country becomes a member of the union.

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