US, EU support Xhaferi’s election, condemn violence in Skopje

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The United States and the European Union have condemned “in the strongest terms” Thursday’s violence in the Macedonian Assembly.

“We condemn the violence in parliament in the strongest terms. It is not consistent with democracy and is not an acceptable way to resolve differences,” the US embassy in Skopje said in a statement, adding:

“It is critical all parties respect democratic processes and the law, and refrain from violent actions which exacerbate the situation. A majority of MPs elected Talaat Xhaferi as speaker of parliament during a regular, continued session of parliament witnessed by members of the public and the press. We will work with him to support democracy and to advance the interests of Macedonia.”

In a joint statement issued late on Thursday, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn said that they “condemn in the strongest terms today’s ongoing attacks on the members of the parliament in Skopje.”

“The acts of violence in the parliament are wholly unacceptable and we call for calm and restraint. The Interior Ministry and the police must ensure the security of the parliament and its members. Democracy must run its course. We take positive note of the election of Talat Xhaferi as speaker of the parliament, as reported,” the statement said.

“The European Union is convinced that political dialogue in the institutions is the only way forward and we urge all political actors to honor the Constitution of the country and act in the spirit of democratic principles, decency and common sense. The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is a candidate country and the European Union is ready to work with the parliament on the necessary reforms to move the country forward on its European path,” Mogherini and Hahn said.

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