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Macedonia Needs Speedy Reforms

German Foreign Minister appeals to the Macedonian government to push through the planned constitutional reforms.

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Fischer addresses the UN General Assembly

The Macedonian parliament is not moving on constitutional reforms ensuring more rights for the country's ethnic Albanian minority. These had been guaranteed as part of the NATO-backed peace plan.

German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer expressed concern about Sunday's outbreak of violence in Macedonia, which killed three policemen. He said it was now more important than ever to follow through on the reforms "with full speed ahead".

But the parliamentary debate on the constitutional changes was rescheduled on Tuesday after parliamentary deputy Gjorgji Kotevski was killed in a car accident.

Fischer met with his Macedonian counterpart Llinka Mitreva following his speech before the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday.

Macedonian media report that the situation had calmed down on Tuesday. Ethnic Albanian guerillas had released all kidnapped civilians.

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