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The BBC's Malcolm Brabant
"Mr Solana... must have made some threats, possibly in terms of financial aid"
 real 56k

Sunday, 24 June, 2001, 13:15 GMT 14:15 UK
Macedonia 'agrees ceasefire'
Breaking News
The Macedonian Government has halted its offensive against ethnic Albanian rebels holding a village close to the capital, Skopje, reports say.

The move followed talks between the European Union's senior foreign policy official, Javier Solana, and President Boris Trajkovski.

The government's move comes three days after the Macedonian army broke an 11-day ceasefire to recapture the village, Aracinovo, from where hundreds of rebels had been threatening to bomb the capital.

Military sources say the army ceased its attacks at about 1200 GMT - but so far it is unclear what the ethnic Albanians' response will be.

Acrimonious

A BBC correspondent in Skopje says it is understood that the discussions between the Macedonians and the EU were extremely acrimonious.

The Macedonian Government had been insisting that it would not cease operations until it had recaptured Aracinovo.

The EU has been making huge efforts to persuade the Macedonian Government and the rebels to reach a settlement.

President Trajkovski has been refusing to negotiate with the rebels.

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