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Macedonia Declares 'State of Emergency' over Migrant Influx

Macedonia declared a state of emergency on the border with Greece on Thursday and said it would draft in the army to help control the influx of migrants crossing the frontier.

In a sign of growing tensions on the border, police were locked in a standoff with about 1,500 migrants and refugees stranded in no-man's land trying to cross into Macedonia.

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Macedonia Arrests Nine over Jihadist Links

Macedonian police said Thursday they arrested nine people, including an imam believed to be the group's leader, who are suspected of recruiting or fighting for Islamist groups in the Middle East.

Authorities were also searching for 27 more people, the Interior Minister Mitko Chavkov told reporters. 

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Three Children among Four Killed in Macedonia Storm

A storm in northwestern Macedonia left at least four people dead, including three children, and injured 16 others, government said Tuesday.

The torrential rain and strong winds that swept Tetovo town late Monday uprooted trees and caused flooding.

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EU Secures Deal to End Political Crisis in Macedonia

EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn brokered a deal between the Macedonian government and opposition early Wednesday to end a political crisis which had paralyzed the country for months.

"I can tell you we have an agreement, an agreement signed by the leaders of the big four parties and I am grateful," Hahn said after 12 hours of negotiations in Skopje ended successfully in the small hours of Wednesday.

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Greece, Macedonia Work to Solve Name Row

Greece and Macedonia on Wednesday agreed a set of measures to build trust between the two countries, in a bid to solve a 20-year long name dispute that has blocked Macedonian EU and NATO membership.

Athens denies Skopje the use of the name Macedonia -- claiming to have a historical right to it -- and the two neighbors have been in dispute since the former Yugoslav republic proclaimed independence in 1991.

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EU 'Disappointed' in Failed Macedonia Crisis Talks

EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn said he was "very disappointed" with the attitude of certain parties to resolve a deep crisis in Macedonia after political talks in Brussels ended without a deal.

"No final deal yet in talks on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia," the commissioner said in a tweet.

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EU Says Macedonia to Hold Polls in 2016 to End Political Crisis

Macedonian political leaders agreed Tuesday to hold elections in early 2016 in order to overcome a deep political crisis, EU enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn said.

"It was agreed that by the end of April next year there should be early elections," Hahn told reporters after a day-long meeting with key political actors in Macedonia, including Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and main opposition leader Zoran Zaev.

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Macedonia Hands over Nine Killed in Shootout to Kosovo

Macedonian authorities handed over to Kosovo on Friday the bodies of nine ethnic Albanian gunmen killed in clashes with the police earlier this month, officials said.

The return of the bodies was made possible after relatives identified the bodies in Macedonia's capital Skopje, the head of Kosovo's forensic department, Arsim Gerxhaliu, told reporters. 

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Macedonian PM Plane Makes Emergency Landing in Zurich

A jet carrying Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski made an emergency landing in Zurich on Thursday due to technical problems but no one was hurt in the incident, a spokesman said.

"The (technical) failure manifested as a strong noise, from an unknown origin, and it was followed by perturbation of the cabin pressure," a government spokesman told reporters in Skopje.

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Macedonia Crisis Talks Yield No Breakthroughs

Talks between Macedonia's embattled premier and the opposition failed to yield any breakthroughs Wednesday toward ending the political crisis that has paralyzed the small Balkan country.

The opposition accuses conservative Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski of corruption, wiretapping and other wrongdoings and has vowed to protest until he quits.

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