Euro Council applauds Macedonia over Kosovo

STRASBOURG, Apr 6, 2000 -- (Reuters) The Council of Europe assembly on Wednesday applauded Macedonia for its behavior during the Kosovo crisis.

The assembly said Macedonia, which took in hundreds of thousands of ethnic Albanian refugees from Kosovo, showed considerable restraint and cooperated with the international community in seeking to settle last year's conflict peacefully.

NATO eventually bombed Yugoslavia to drive out Serbian troops from the province and allow refugees to return.

The assembly said Macedonia had made clear its determination to maintain democratic stability, and its coalition government including members of the Albanian minority was preserving a fragile ethnic balance.

The assembly, however, urged Macedonia to step up judicial reforms, enforce laws to fight corruption and money laundering and protect freedom of expression.

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