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SKOPJE (Macedonia), April 4 (SeeNews) - Macedonia's president Gjorge Ivanov should find a democratic way out of the prolonged political crisis acknowledging the complexity of the situation, European council president Donald Tusk said upon the completion of a visit to the Southeast European country.
"It is for you to find a solution based on democratic principles, decency and common sense," Tusk said on Monday, adding that only such a solution can be a lasting one. "When you find it, you can count on our support," he also said in a statement published on the European Council website.
On March 1, Ivanov refused to award the mandate for forming Macedonia's next government to the leader of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) Zoran Zaev, citing concerns that SDSM's agreement with ethnic Albanian parties to make a government coalition threatens the country's sovereignty.
Zaev, whose party came in second in the December early election, secured a parliamentary majority to form a government after reaching an agreement with the ethnic Albanian parties on key issues regarding the governance of Macedonia, including the use of the Albanian language. The deal came after the election winners, conservative VMRO-DPMNE party, failed to agree with ethnic Albanian party DUI on forging a government coalition.
In his statement Tusk reiterated the EU's commitment to Macedonia's European perspective.
"Working towards EU and NATO memberships has consistently proved a factor of unity," he said and urged the president to avoid anything that could further fuel political and ethnic tensions.
The European council president also underlined the important role Macedonia had in closing the Western Balkans route and tackling migration crisis.
"We want to make sure that this mutually beneficial cooperation continues in the future," Tusk said, adding that the EU stands ready to respond Macedonia's needs, be they of humanitarian character, or for equipment and manpower.